Stop43.org.uk stopped Commercial Orphan Works Exploitation in the UK Digital Economy Bill Clause 43






  • 1. To what extent do the IP and competition frameworks complement or conflict with each other?

    • is competition hindered by a lack of transparency in some areas?
    • do you have direct experience of anti-competitive impacts arising from the IP system?
    Competition law seems to take little account of the relative market positions and ability to distort the market of competitors and appears to treat six photographers sitting in a pub discussing business as if they were six CEOs of global media conglomerates sitting as a cartel in a hotel room fixing prices and dividing the market between them. This is patently absurd.

    • is competition hindered by a lack of transparency in some areas?
    As always, competition is hindered by information asymmetry. This is of particular relevance when attempting to supply to monopsonistic buyers such as large media combines and the public sector, who are legally allowed to share pricing and contractual information within and between their constituent departments, divisions and companies, whereas individual and micro-business suppliers in attempting to share identical information are deemed to be an anticompetitive cartel. This is patently absurd and requires rectification.

    • do you have direct experience of anti-competitive impacts arising from the IP system?
    All the evidence we provide to illustrate the negative, depressive and distorting effects of onerous rights-grabbing contracts (1), (2), (3) serve as our direct experience that we are subject to daily of anti-competitive impacts arising from the IP system.

    LINKS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_asymmetry
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopsony
    http://copyrightaction.com/forum/bauers-bastard-contract
    http://copyrightaction.com/system/files/Bauer+Publishing+Commission+Agreement.pdf
    http://www.londonfreelance.org/fl/0808baue.html
  • 2. Could growth and innovation be stimulated by a different balance between competition and IP?

    Several photographic markets - Editorial, PR and Corporate, with Advertising going the same way - operate poorly with highly imperfect competition. One of them, the Editorial market, can accurately be described as an Oligopsony in practice in that relative to the number of suppliers there are very few commercial and public sector buyers of editorial photography to whom photographers can supply, and their market dominance enables them to impose their terms at will on suppliers.

    In our view, better competition in these poorly-functioning markets - Editorial, PR and Corporate and Advertising - can only be ensured by:

    • the application of Fair Contract law on the German model to Intellectual Property, and
    • the establishment of an Intellectual Property Ombudsman system modelled on those such as Ofcom, Ofgas, etc. to arbitrate and protect individual suppliers from onerous and wildly unbalanced contracts imposed by oligopsonistic buyers.
    A proper rebalancing of these markets can be expected to lead to a growth in confidence by suppliers with consequent growth in economic activity and innovation by them, and growth in HM Government's tax receipts at the effective rates individual and micro-business suppliers pay rather than the much reduced rates corporations usually contrive to pay,.

    LINKS

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligopsony
    http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/UrhG.htm#IV2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman
    http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/
    http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/About%20us/Pages/AboutUsPage.aspx