At last! The Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport has injected a lot of sense into governmental discussion of copyright.
The Creators' Rights Alliance particularly welcomes the Select Committee's observations on proposals to extend exceptions to copyright, under which creators' work can be used without permission or payment: the committee is:
...not persuaded that the introduction of new copyright exceptions will bring the benefits claimed [by Professor Hargreaves and in Government impact asessments] and believe that generally the existing law works well. We recommend that the introduction or amendment of copyright exceptions should be contemplated only following detailed impact assessments and after proper parliamentary scrutiny on anindividual basis.
The claims made about economic benefits are, in short, a load of rubbish, as we have repeatedly pointed out.
The government should take note of the responses to the proposed changes and do what the Select Committee says: take a pause, wait for proper evidence, and proceed only on that basis.
Who would benefit from the changes that are currently proposed on the basis of the faulty evidence? The Creators' Rights Alliance welcomes the candour of the responsible Minister, Viscount Younger:
“Google is one of several search engines,” he told the Committee, “and I am very aware of their power, put it that way. I am also very aware, I think, that they have access, for whatever reason, to higher levels than me in No. 10, I understand.”
The Creators' Rights Alliance regrets, however, that no arm of Government has yet taken up the challenge of dealing with creators' rights to be identified and to defend the integrity of our work - the so-called "moral rights". These are increasingly important rights for every citizen, now that we are almost all "published" online.