Thursday, 8 April 2010

Digital Economy Bill - 43 falls!

Yes! The campaign was successful - for now. There has been acceptance by some on all sides of the house that it is lunacy to push through legislation of this kind without due thought for the consequences. The voice of photographers has been heard, even if only in a limited way. That is something we can build on.

What will happen next is for the future, once the election furore has died down. It is not the time for complacency. Remember the reassurances from the IPO, and from some of our associations. All would be well, we were told, our interests would be taken care of. What the throwing out of 43 has highlighted is that we cannot accept deals done behind closed doors. If that's the way politics works, it needs to be challenged. Solutions to the orphan works problem, which needs to be addressed, should be aired and discussed in detail. New image licensing systems need to be scrutinised by everybody, and we need to be wary of any attempts to take control of copyrighted works away from copyright holders.

Opposition to the bill has brought people out of the woodwork. Alliances have been formed, and the issues have been highlighted. I am confident that those who care will regroup to discuss the way forward so that never again are we caught out as we were last autumn, with lobbyists and the government operating in secret, with labrinthine pathways to the future built into an obscure and badly thought out bill.

Frankly now I will be turning my thoughts to the environment and the economy and to the moral compass that seems to be missing. Will any of the parties take up the challenge of new thinking? I don't think so, but now's the time to push them for answers.

In the meantime, let's not forget to work for a workable future in our creative imaging industry.

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