The Hargreaves Review: an update
All the latest news on the Government's review of copyright, and what ALCS has been doing to press the cause of writers.
What’s the latest on the educational copyright issue?
At the end of 2011 the Government published plans for a major reform of copyright. Many of the proposals stem from last year’s Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth and have been reported on the ALCS website and in our newsletter. However the latest consultation document included measures not covered by the original review involving extreme options around educational exceptions to copyright which, if enacted, would reduce or possibly even eradicate the remuneration ALCS currently collects from the education sector for payment to our Members.
Naturally, we objected to these proposals and, with your help, made a strong case to the Government to review and rethink their policy in this area.
Earlier in the year we contacted many of you who would potentially be affected by these proposals and asked you to help us lobby this issue and you responded in your hundreds with passion and vigour. A huge thank you to all who took the time to fill in questionnaires and to write testimonials for us setting out how the proposed changes would affect you. Thank you also to those who wrote to their MPs, and those who took on the task of making a submission to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Your input has been invaluable – the individual testimonials that we received helped us enormously in bringing to life the potential realities of this proposal for the Minister concerned, Baroness Wilcox, and the IPO. The body of evidence we gathered from Members made for powerful reading and hopefully formed an argument that is unlikely to be ignored.
What else has ALCS been doing in response?
In addition to asking for your help, right up until the submission deadline of 21 March, representatives from ALCS were undertaking a wide range of lobbying and awareness raising campaigns. Here is a brief summary:
Meetings with Parliamentarians:
Over 50 MPs and Lords have been personally briefed, including Baroness Wilcox, the Minister responsible for overseeing the review and Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries.
Briefing notes were sent to all MPs and Lords, and were handed in person to over 60 MPs and Lords who attended a reception at the House of Commons in February to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens.
The following politicians have all raised specific parliamentary questions on the issue of educational exceptions:
Jim Dowd MP
Mike Weatherley MP
Dan Jarvis MP
Tristram Hunt MP
Kelvin Hopkins MP
Adrian Sanders MP
Early Day Motion
John Whittingdale MP tabled an early day motion on 8 February. To date it has 41 signatures.
Pete Wishart MP held an adjournment debate on 8 February. A number of MPs specifically mentioned educational exceptions in their speeches following briefings from ALCS.
Meetings With Civil Servants
ALCS representatives met with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on several occasions to discuss our views on this issue and to enable us to better understand what they were looking for in terms of a submission.
We also met with Baroness Wilcox in a round table discussion (with other interested organisations) on the specific subject of educational exceptions.
In the Press
The subject of licensing within education and the potential effect its restriction or removal could have on authors was covered in:
The Guardian by Alison Flood
The Independent by Dalya Alberge
The Times Higher Educational Supplement by Matthew Reisz
BookBrunch by Nicholas Clee
The Times - A letter signed by a number of prominent writers was published
With Other Organisations
ALCS has been working with the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and Price Waterhouse Coopers to develop an economic analysis of the value of collective licensing and publishing.
With the CLA and PLS, we also instructed a leading QC to analyse the legality of the proposal.
In addition, we have been working with CLA, PLS, the Design & Artists Copyright Society, (DACS), Performing Rights Society (PRS), PPL, Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), British Equity Collecting Society (BECS) and DIRECTORS UK to develop a unified message about the role of collecting societies and the positive role they can play in supporting the contribution creators and other rightsholders make to the economy.
Read the ALCS submission to the copyright consultation.
What Happens Next?
The Government has published a summary of the responses it received to the consultation and a paper outlining its proposals for new legislation dealing with orphan works, extended collective licensing and codes of conduct of collecting societies. At the time of writing the enabling legislation for these measures is going through parliament as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. We are monitoring the progress of the Bill and engaging with the debate and will report any significant updates on our website. No policy decisions on the issue of educational exceptions have been published as yet. We shall of course keep Members informed as and when developments occur.
Read the latest update from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).