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IT News Thread, Government passes 'land grab' copyright law in Other News; The government has passed the "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act" last week. This law contains provisions to hand over copyright ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Government passes 'land grab' copyright law

    The government has passed the "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act" last week. This law contains provisions to hand over copyright ownership of 'orphaned works' to anyone who wants to use them, so long as that person/organisation has performed a 'diligent search'.

    What this all means is this: You upload a photo to a website, and it doesn't contain any meta data outlining your ownership and you don't label it with a copyright notice etc..., then someone can come along do a cursory check for ownership and then use it without further hassle. They can even resell it.

    The Reg has a reasonable article about it.

    UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now ? The Register

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Oh dear. This passed thorough quietly with many people not really understanding the consequences.
    Another interesting article from the point of view of someone who will be affected by this and the potential consequences for our economy (written before it passed into law).
    How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web ? The Register

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Yup. I certainly won't be uploading any more of my own photos to the net now. Its far too easy for someone to nick them.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Hmm. In reality, few people will bother to do the cursory check and, apart from the biggest organisations like Getty, few will attempt the court action to enforce it. Which is probably what happens now anyway.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    And so the net edges a bit further away from being a tool for creation, and the media giants' job of persuading everyone that Creativity Is Special and can only happen under their stewardship gets a bit easier. This was supposed to be the second renaissance, the democracy of art, and big business is paying off our government to twist it and break it. Bah.

    (feeling especially paranoid about these things, just finished Pirate Cinema last night)

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    hardtailstar's Avatar
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    so if you use a service like Instagram then you are covered as its on your account and therefore has the owners details?
    Last edited by hardtailstar; 29th April 2013 at 10:45 AM. Reason: spelling fail

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailstar View Post
    so if you use a service like Instagram then you are covered as its on your account and therefore has the owners details?
    I dunno about that. Does it list your name and contact details when you view one on the web?

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailstar View Post
    so if you use a service like Instagram then you are covered as its on your account and therefore has the owners details?
    As I read it, if your picture doesn't have meta data attached then its fair game. But then, meta data can be removed and copyright marks can be cropped.

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    hardtailstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I dunno about that. Does it list your name and contact details when you view one on the web?
    only my user name.

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    As I read it, if your picture doesn't have meta data attached then its fair game. But then, meta data can be removed and copyright marks can be cropped.
    so we are all screwed... tbh it really dosent affect me as who really wants my collection of pictures of animals and nights in the pub? lol

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    I think the only way around it is to watermark images with MASSIVE COPYRIGHTS right across complex textures in the middle of the image, so it's impossible to crop out and nigh-on impossible to Photoshop the warning out. Meta-data is no protection as it's so easy to Save As.

    Does anyone know how the law falls with regards to burden of proof - i.e. if I accuse someone of having used my image without undertaking a diligent search, do they have to prove what they did for their search or do I have to prove that they must have been negligent because the ownership can be found in a few clicks of image searching? The latter would seem very easy to argue against and to provide yet more power to the Big Media, yet it would be entirely consisent with libel in this country.

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  12. #12

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'm thinking iStockphoto style cross and watermark for my images now.

    Also, that article is somewhat flawed @Arthur. It mentions 'there will be independent bodies' but what use is that if they don't exist right now? There's a period of time now where such schemes don't exist, people don't have their work registered (which will require photographers to pay to do so - so you have to pay to protect your work from copyright infringement) and therefore there is no-one to ensure diligence - the only place that could determine this is a court, and therefore the onus is now on the copyright owner to prove that the infringing party didn't do a diligent search... Not really a fair system.

    The idea of a diligent search has not been defined, and we all know how flexible the law becomes when such terms are not defined in the law itself.

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