[Wikimedia-l] UK.Gov passes Instagram Act

shi zhao shizhao at gmail.com
Thu May 2 03:06:31 UTC 2013

see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/29/err_act_landgrab/

The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the
commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the
owner is missing, so-called "orphan works", by placing the work into
what's known as "extended collective licensing" schemes. Since most
digital images on the internet today are orphans - the metadata is
missing or has been stripped by a large organisation - millions of
photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.

For the first time anywhere in the world, the Act will permit the
widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work - the user
only needs to perform a "diligent search". But since this is likely to
come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity. The Act states
that a user of a work can act as if they are the owner of the work
(which should be you) if they're given permission to do so by the
Secretary of State.

The Act also fails to prohibit sub-licensing, meaning that once
somebody has your work, they can wholesale it. This gives the green
light to a new content-scraping industry, an industry that doesn't
have to pay the originator a penny. Such is the consequence of
"rebalancing copyright", in reality.

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