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The British Photographic Council exists to protect, develop and promote the rights and interests of photographic image makers, those involved in the distribution of their work, and the bodies that represent them in the UK.

The Council represents these views to the Government, the European Commission and other relevant bodies either directly or through or with the co-operation of other bodies with similar aims.

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The British Photographic Council Response to the Hargreaves Review

The British Photographic Council welcomes some parts of the Hargreaves Review, but remains wary of the lack of detail in others and will keep making the case for mandatory moral rights – the only way to stop work being deliberately orphaned.

We are delighted that Professor Ian Hargreaves has kicked into touch the proposed conversion to a US-type system of ‘fair use’. This is a recognition that the UK system of ‘fair dealing’ is equitable.

We are equally pleased that the report (Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth) recommends the introduction of a small claims track for IP court cases.

This was a major element of our submission to the Review, and we consider the establishment of such a court as essential to the interests of freelance creators.

On the downside, we have serious concerns about the proposal to allow extended collective licensing of orphan works. Indeed, we fear it might not be limited to orphan works. It is of paramount importance to photographers that they retain the right to decide where and when their work is used.

We would emphasise that any use of orphan works should be for non-commercial purposes, and press for a workable and strictly worded definition of non-commercial.

The suggested digital copyright exchange is a concept with great potential, but the detail would be crucial.

What disappoints us most, however, is the complete refusal by the Review team to address the issue of the very weak framework of moral rights within this country. Creators should have an unwaivable right to be identified as author of their works and to defend their integrity.

Said BPC Chair John Toner: “There is an absurdity in proposing a system for the licensing of works whose authors cannot be identified without introducing an enforceable right to be identified. Without such a right, works will continue to be orphaned.

“We will continue to campaign and lobby on this point for as long as it remains necessary.”

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