Thursday 25 December 2014

Orphans: an appealing topic ...

A little while ago, the UK government issued a media release, "Orphan works licensing scheme appeal guidance", which explained that it had indeed published guidance on how to appeal to the Copyright Tribunal against a decision by the Intellectual Property Office to issue an orphan works licence under its new UK orphan works scheme. This guidance, contained in a 14-page pamphlet, is directed both towards applicants for an orphan works licences and for orphans themselves (and/or those who hold rights in their works).

The guidance also briefly considers appeals by rights-holders for orphan works used under EU Directive 2012/28 where the rights-holder and the user cannot agree the level of fair compensation.

Basic information and relevant links can be found on the GOV.UK site here.

There's also some useful information about appeals, which reads like this:
On what grounds can I appeal?

You can appeal on the grounds that the IPO has acted improperly or failed to meet its obligations under the regulations. It is not sufficient that you are unhappy with the IPO’s actions or decision; you must be able to explain why the IPO has acted improperly or failed to meet its obligations under the regulations [that should eliminate most grumbles at the threshold].

Examples of circumstances where the IPO could have acted improperly or failed to meet its obligations under the regulations would include (but are not limited to):
• failure by the IPO to fulfil its obligations to satisfy itself that a reasonable diligent search was carried out; or
• failure to put relevant details of the work on the register of orphan works; or
• failure to take into account what types of licence fees are paid for the similar use of equivalent non-orphan works, when setting the licence fee for the use of an orphan work.
What can I expect the IPO to do?
You can expect the IPO to abide by any findings the Tribunal may make [Well, yes, that is the very least that an appellant might expect in a civilised society that respects the rule of law -- but is that all? What about a bit of remorse, or compensation? Oh well, maybe not ...].

1 comment:

john r walker said...

Jeremy as best as I can see the tribunal has no authority over the issue that is, potentially, the most vexing - the accidental issuing of licenses for orphans I.e'abandoned properties' that are not orphans at all. In fact the tribunals real powers seem rather limmited.