Welcoming the Government’s decision to implement Professor Hargreaves’ recommendations to reform the copyright licensing system, Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus, said:
‘The Government’s decision on the copyright licensing reforms announced today is very welcome. Copyright licensing is the wiring behind the scenes that consumers don’t see – without it consumers won’t have access to innovative online music, film and e-book services that effectively harness digital technology. Updating copyright licensing procedures for the digital age will benefit consumers, business and copyright holders. Helping our creative industries will also promote economic growth.
‘Collecting societies perform an important role licensing thousands of work on behalf of their members to pubs, online services and broadcasters. More than ten UK collecting societies now operate and it is critical that all work effectively to promote the interests of their membership. We welcome the Government’s decision to introduce a statutory code of conduct for collecting societies if they fail to voluntarily commit to minimum standards of transparency and governance.
‘Enabling licensing of orphan works, for which the copyright owner cannot be found after a thorough search, will ensure that libraries and museums can give consumers access to a broader range of historically important older works. We welcome the Government’s resolve to find a solution to this previously neglected issue.’