Government consultation on copyright; urgent issue for ALCS Members
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 proposals include new measures not covered by the original review which, if enacted, would reduce or possibly even eradicate the remuneration ALCS currently collects from the education sector.
To put this proposal into context, ALCS currently pays out to its Members in the region of £12million per annum from Educational sources.
In accordance with the principle of copyright, ALCS believes that writers should receive fair reward for the use of their works and we are concerned that the current Government proposals are less about copyright and more about public sector costs savings. (A recent report found that licensed access to hundreds of thousands of publications accounts for only 0.03% of a school budget and 0.04% of a university budget).
In addition to the loss in revenue for writers, the educational establishments themselves will suffer as, without a licence in place to remunerate the appropriate parties, they lose all certainty that any activities they are carrying out are done so legally.
We believe, as many of you have told us in the past, that the income you receive from ALCS, whether it be big or small, helps in providing incentive for writers to be able to continue writing and that the systems currently in place provide a reasonable and equitable solution for all.
The consultation period for this issue is now closed, and ALCS would like to thank all Members who wrote to us with testimonials, who raised the issue with their MP's and those who made a submission to the consultation. Your help and support has been invaluable.
The ALCS submission can be viewed below.
ALCS submission to the IPO copyright consultation 2012
The Government has 3 months to respond to the review (which closed on 21 March 2012). We'll provide further information as and when we find out which proposals they are planning to take forward.