stopped Commercial Orphan Works Exploitation in the UK Digital Economy Bill Clause 43

Small Businesses already planning to "orphan" Getty Images' pictures

Posted yesterday on the Federation of Small Businessemail forum:

"I have just been reading elements of the New Digital Economy Bill and especially the aspect of Orphan Works. It appears to read as follows: 'will allow the commercial use of any photograph whose author cannot be identified through a suitably diligent search'. It also appears to want to take licensing and pricing away from copyright holders and place them with a central licensing body.

If this is correct and if you had purchased any image in good faith which did not have identification info contained within it then is it fair to assume that Getty and others could not come after people as they have been demanding thousands.

If so it’s great news for the future and should avoid this current debacle."

Getty Images, a $2 billion global commercial picture and media library, are famous for enforcing their IP rights and suing infringers. An out-of-court settlement with Getty Images for unauthorised use of pictures on their website recently cost a small Scottish transport company £20,000. The images could have been licensed for less than £1,000. Like the general public, small business owners tend not to understand copyright and assume that photos they find on the Internet are “free” and that they “own” photographs that they have commissioned, as if they’d simply bought a spade.

This is the clearest indication yet of how the Public and business in general will view photography if the provisions within Clause 43 become law. It will destroy the market for photography, destroy professional photographers, and seriously damage at least one $2 billion corporation. And this from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. What an innovation.