Double Helping of Bad News for UK Photographers

The Copyright Action website details the ugly truth behind two possible changes to UK copyright laws. Going a step beyond the ugly-enough Orphan Works bill proposed in the U.S. last year, the British version essentially strips away rights of creators:

“The quaint notion that the author alone has prime and inalienable rights over his/her own work, must be able to restrict usage, negotiate a fee, prevent usage they consider immoral or distasteful, or assert their moral right to attribution, is about to pass into history. This is the biggest change in UK copyright law in 150 years. It also punches holes through the Berne agreement, international copyright law and TRIPS.”

Making bad news even worse, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is proposing a new code for personal information online that is a virtual ban on public photography which ONLY applies to professional photographers:

“Mindful of the damage this would do to tourism and how much it would piss off Joe Public to be told he can’t use his cameraphone in the street to make humiliating snaps of his drunk mates for Facebook (and quite possibly subsequent orphan use by Rupert Murdoch), ICO have decided that this lunacy shall only apply to pro photographers, a small enough constituency to castrate with impunity.”

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