Stop43, the dudes who took on the Government over the clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill (the one that would’ve effectively stripped photographers of their rights to their images that were deemed ‘orphan works’), and won, have submitted their proposal to Professor Ian Hargreaves’ consultation on intellectual property. Of course, it focuses mostly on the concept of ‘orphan works’, but it has some pretty interesting things to say.
The idea is to create a free, online machine-searchable metadata registry. They’re calling it a National Cultural Archive. This archive will make work freely available to people for ‘cultural use’, allow ‘orphaned works’ to be re-adopted by their owners, act as a mechanism to aid copyright enforcement, and help people buy and sell licences to use images.
‘But if it’s a free system,’ I can hear you murmuring, ‘how would it be supported?’ They’re proposing a levy system on the sale of licences that it facilitates. It’d be self-supporting, then. They also reckon it’d be easy to set up and are keen to build a model. Easy to set up, if they manage to get people on-side with it.
They’ve also made suggestions that would help to allow the re-formating of work that would otherwise be lost entirely because it’s on decaying traditional media and it can’t be digitised without breaching copyright. That’s pretty important, considering how much crumbling paper and deteriorating tape is sitting in museums and libraries across the country, with no way of legally salvaging it.
They’ve really tapped into the business theme of the consultation, though. They’re very keen to point out how properly attributed work and the sale of licences will contribute to increased tax receipts for the Government and help to drive economic growth. Reckon anyone will listen?
Stop43′s National Cultural Archive: a one-stop shop for all your image licensing needs.