Several readers alerted me to The Digital Economy Bill (here) in the UK which contains Orphan Works language that “will allow the commercial use of any photograph whose author cannot be identified through a suitably diligent search.”
Photographer Simon Crofts has a post about it (here), where he says:
“The Government’s idea is to take control of licensing and pricing of orphan works away from copyright holders and give it instead to one or more central licensing bodies.”
Hopefully it can be stopped, but judging how things have been going for photographers over there it doesn’t appear the government cares much for photographers.
I know it’s a bit of a long read but the salient points are that in the UK new law:
1) Enacts orphan works without any definition of a. what constitutes an orphan work and b. what a reasonable owner search is
2) Makes it a crime to photograph in public if *anyone* who appears in the image objects to their image being taken!
WOW. WTF UK.