Friday, 6 July 2012

Legal Piracy

Today it was brought to my attention that the government is pushing through a bill to take away the legal rights of artists, writers and photographers.

According to Andrew Orlowski on The Register, this 'New legislation is proposed that would effectively introduce a compulsory purchase order, but without compensation, across an unlimited range of creative works, for commercial use.' You can read the full article here

Effectively the government are enforcing a legal snatching of our copyright and it is down to the author, artist or photographer to 'Opt Out' before the Government then allows their copyrights to be exploited by third parties. The third party can then legally use your works in any way they wish and make a profit from doing so. It is unlikely that you will receive any money at all of this.

The Intellectual Property Office have posted an update that seems to confirm that the government have drawn up a policy statement Consultation on Modernising Copyright.

I am furious that creative people are again being abused in this way. It seems to me that everyone in this world is entitled to be paid a fair amount for the work they do: except writers, artists and photographers.

Would David Cameron work as Prime Minister for months without being paid? Would a solicitor even work for one hour unpaid? Would you go to work and spend weeks doing your job without being paid? Of course not.

It takes me months to write a novel so why then should I work for free? Why should any professional work for nothing? How are we expected to pay our bills? Feed and clothe our children? Do they think because we are creative then we don't need the basics to live?
This government has severely disappointed me on every level in the last twelve months. Not only have they taken away our NHS, they are also stamping on our rights at every opportunity. We've spent years fighting off the pirates who steal our work on the internet and now the government comes along and just tries to take it all.

This is 'legal piracy'. And we can't let it happen.

Our country is turning into the vision that George Orwell had when he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four and our government is so reminiscent of Big Brother. What will be next? The 'Thought Police'?

And dare we ask who the 'third parties' will be? I assume it will be those who bid the highest and give our officials the financial - somehow 'legal' - bung that they will get for selling on all of our hard work. So it will be companies set up and run by the already rich and bloated mega-corporations who already own and run most of the outlets for creative work - they are those with most to gain by being able to exploit anything which the copyright owner has not opted out of.

Will I allow this to happen? NO.

My intellectual property and copyright belongs to me. I claim my copyright. If you want to use my words - then you come and pay me the going rate like everyone else. Otherwise, government or no government. You're not using it. Final.

If you want to act on this then I suggest you write to your MP. I have sent a letter myself, but I'm not convinced it will do any good. WriteToThem

But if we all stand together, then this Legal Piracy can be shown up for the 'theft' that it is.

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