Response to Call For Evidence
Pro-Action - Visual Artists in Business, was established in 2006 and is a committee and campaigning group representing the interests of professional visual artists. Our aims are to tackle fee erosion, increasingly detrimental contract terms from clients, and copyright issues as they affect visual artists and their representatives. Our member organisations are:
Association of Illustrators
Society of Artists' Agents
Association of Photographers
Professional Cartoonists' Organisation
Pro-Action support the submissions to the Consultation from the Association of Illustrators and the Association of Photographers. We provide general comment below, and although have not answered the all the specific questions, refer to questions in this text.
Welcome Governments commitment to ensuring that orphaned works (OWs) would be licensed at market rates, but have concerns over who would define those market rates. Which rates would apply? One of our major concerns is that access to OWs would not impact on the primary market for visual artists therefore undermining their income sources.
Visual works are highly susceptible to copying once in a digital format and placed on the web, and although much of the discussion around OWs has been around historical items, contemporary images are constantly copied and pasted across the internet. Frequently the creators name is not attached to the image by the copier, and it can become an OW within one paste
The strengthening of Moral rights is essential to prevent new OWs being produced in the future. Moral Rights legislation needs to be strengthened to remove (i) the formal assertion requirement for the Attribution Right; (ii) exclusions for the Attribution and Integrity Rights; and (iii) the contractual ability of a waiver in order to prevent future orphan works.
Extended Collective licensing (ECL)
Any copyright provision that requires an author to forego their right to license the use of their work on an individual basis must be clearly justifiable and subject to adequate safeguards.
ECL benefits visual artists when it is applied to a specific area where individual artists would find it impractical to licence themselves, eg reprograhic photocopying and cable retransmission. This can be a valuable source of income which supports their income from paid commissions. The existing arrangement of Payback through DACS already work well for visual artists. (Q22)
ECL should not impact the market in primary commissions, and should provide proper remuneration to authors under agreements controlled by authors and their representatives. They should operate transparently, and should include opt-out provision.
Codes for Collecting Societies
Pro-Action would approve voluntary codes which are reviewed with an ombudsman.
There should be specific requirements for what constitutes a collecting society (how they are defined) including being representative of rightsholders from a field and standards of accountability. (Q30)
Exceptions to Copyright:
- Private copying This exception would affect different sectors and does not require a blanket exception. Visual artists could be adversely affected by a private copying exception, especially in the case of limited edition prints which. (Q69)
If this was introduced private copying should be required to be tightly defined and not so broadly that it would require creators bringing cases to law to define it. We would expect fair remuneration for a private copying exception.
- Preservation For archive use, and single copies only, for non-commercial use. (Q74)
- Parody, pastiche We have concerns over this. Concerns of the possible reproduction of a parody, especially in a commercial way, with no remuneration returning to the original creator. How would those works be credited ? Would there be any redress for creators in instances such as these? (Q78)
- Educational exception Widening of educational exception is great concern. Many of our members contribute imagery for educational publications and schemes in physical and digital media and successful licensing schemes already exist for this area and should not be interfered with. (Q89)
We see a benefit to IPO offering basic copyright advice, provided that organisations representing rightsholders, such as the AOI, are involved in the content of such advice. (Q111).