The Digital Economy Act received Royal Assent - it was passed into law - on 8 April. See the page "Wrapping up..." for a response. The following is the CRA's initial response to the Bill as published.
While much attention has been focused on aspects of the Digital Economy Bill that deal with copyright infringement by individual downloaders, the CRA believes that there needs to be more scrutiny of and clarity about measures in the Bill that deal with the licensing of copyright and performers' rights.
The Digital Economy Bill is a brave attempt to tackle a number of issues concerning the making available of archive of creators’ works online and the digital economy more widely.
The CRA wishes to point out, however, that there will be no digital economy worth having unless the individuals who create its ‘content’ remain able to make a professional living. We cannot live in ‘wikiworld’ – the universe of volunteer contributions, blogs, Sunday paintings and demo recordings – alone. A very significant proportion of the creators represented by CRA member organisations are sole traders and freelances and must rely on statute to protect their position.
In particular, Section 42 of the Bill would allow the Minister to make regulations... to allow the use of works whose creators cannot be identified. "It is a logical and legal absurdity," we point out, "to make such provision while there are significant groups of authors who do not have the right to be identified as authors of their work."
We will add further documents here as they are published. In the meantime, see:
- The Bill text and text as amended by the government
- Record of the Bill's progress
- Hansard: Second Reading of the Bill in House of Lords 02/12/09
- Hansard: Third Reading in the House of Lords 08/03/10
- Hansard: Report stage in the House of Lords 15/03/10
- News about Authors’ Rights from www.londonfreelance.org
- Copyright on the agenda update 04/04/10 from www.londonfreelance.org