Less than one week after the government dropped the controversial Clause 43 from the Digital Economy Bill, following opposition from the Conservatives party, Shadow Secretary of State Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt has confirmed to BJP that his party, if elected in May, will look at reforming the Copyright, Design and Patents Act of 1988.
The confirmation comes after Hunt said, on 06 April, said in the House of Commons that "what is needed is a proper reform of copyright law, and my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor Adam Afriyie has said that under a new Conservative Government he will ensure that such proposals are put before the House."
In an email to BJP, Hunt has confirmed that "if we win the election we will be conducting a review of copyright with a view to reforming it properly."
Hunt adds that, "moral rights will be considered as part of this review." Currently, photographers whose images are published in magazines and newspapers cannot claim moral rights on their work. Photography organisations, such as the Association of Photographers, the British Press Photographers' Association and the National Union of Journalists' London Photographers Branch, have called for such exemption to be removed from the act.
Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill dealt with orphan works - works for which the author cannot be found - and extended licensing schemes. However, it did not address moral rights, with the Intellectual Property Office claiming that the issue was too controversial and needed proper reflection.
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