Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Photographers defend your copyright

Copyright is essential for creative activity. Without its protection both the quantity, and more importantly quality of work created would fall as the ability and incentive to be rewarded for creative work diminished.

There are moves underway in the UK to amend the current copyright laws to an extent that could leave photographers with far fewer rights and in a position of easy exploitation. In the fast evolving digital era we live in it is not unreasonable to reconsider exisiting legislation and rights. Indeed in a world of social networking, file sharing and viral marketing the current notion of copyright in the law does seem out of step with the reality of how images, and other creative work, are now used and consumed. However the amendments proposed appear to offer little protection or status to the photographer as a producer of creative works.

If you're a UK resident or citizen you can do your bit to defend copyright by signing this petition.

This isn't a national issue though. Its the old chestnut of what happens in the US (remember the orphan works bill) makes its way over to the UK a few years later, then its Europe, Australia. We live in a global marketplace for media stored on file servers; we need a global standard that will protect creators rights to control the use of their work, and profit from it if they choose, while facilitating the willing market to enjoy and use it appropriately. With the existance and popularity of creative commons licences there is plenty of work already available that can be legitimately used without the need to erode the rights of those who choose to retain their copyright.

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