Review of Copyright Collecting Societies launchedMore seriously, the Review's website cannot be accessed at www.independentcodereview.org, although the media release states that it can. You have to go to www.independentcodereview.org.uk, which isn't very far away -- but a miss is as good as a mile when you're on the internet.
• Is there music playing in your local pub or restaurant?
• Is an article you wrote being photocopied for college students?
• Do you need to get blanket clearance to reproduce text and images for your company website?
These are just some of the issues dealt with by the 12 UK copyright collecting societies that are subject to an independent review launched today [the Newspaper Licensing Agency has been listed as one of the 12, though readers will recall that this organisation is now the cheery, user-friendly (or is it pig-with-lipstick?) NLA media access]. The societies exist to enable people who want to use copyright material to pay for a licence, distributing that money to those who have created the work that is being re-used. Walter Merricks CBE who is conducting the review is asking for the views about how the system is working.
Collecting societies: your
help is needed ...
The societies are private bodies but should they be more transparent and accountable? Two years ago the societies decided to be more open and to put in place codes of conduct detailing how they operate. The Government has also set out standards and is taking powers to ensure societies have adopted satisfactory codes and to discipline societies where necessary.
Now the societies – through the British Copyright Council -- have asked Walter Merricks, the former financial ombudsman [and the man who now investigates complaints into how ombudsmen carry out their duties: how does one get jobs like that ...?], to carry out an independent review of how their codes are working [this seems to have happened last August, according to the 1709 Blog's CopyKat].
Walter Merricks said:
“The creative industries and the rights they generate form a significant contribution to the UK economy, and the internet has changed many of the business models that used to make copyright protection simpler [Gosh, we never knew that, did we?] In the digital age the work of the societies is more complex and it is vital that they are seen to operate to the highest standards.
There are many different rights interests involved from individual artists and writers to huge music labels and book publishers, and among licensees there are small high street businesses, schools and colleges as well as massive corporations and government departments. So it’s not surprising that people have different views on how well things are working [Different views? Another surprise].
I’ll be looking to see whether the codes form a self-regulatory framework in which not only rights holders and licensees, but also the public, the government, and other copyright bodies, can have justifiable confidence.
To help my Review I want to hear from anyone with experience of or views about the collective management of rights and how well the societies’ codes are working [If it wasn't such a cliche, the words "be careful what you wish for" would float effortlessly between these parentheses ...]”
Wednesday 15 January 2014
Another review gets active: this time it's for collecting societies
The following media release has just come thudding through this blogger's e-letterbox, in regular and pdf formats. At first he thought it was another of those infernal surveys, but when he got beyond the initial questions he obtained a better appreciation of its substance.