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The Publishers Association Warns of Damaging Changes to Copyright Law


The Publishers Association (PA) today reaffirmed its support for incremental changes in copyright law, but warned that radical proposals to restrict or remove licensing opportunities would harm the creative industries and the wider British economy.

Responding to the Intellectual Property Office’s Consultation on Copyright, closing today, the PA supports a raft of changes to improve copyright law, including on orphan works, digital preservation of archives and distance learning.

However, it argues that the proposals to close down licensing in areas like content mining, photocopying in schools and private copying would cut across the operation of the market, depriving authors and publishers of revenues and growth opportunity, and would not deliver benefits for users.

The PA contends that the Consultation on Copyright is based on skewed analysis of the Hargreaves Review, which failed to account for the potential impact on the significant economic and cultural contributions made by the creative industries.  The PA argues that further research and economic assessment into the impact of the proposals is absolutely necessary before they are taken any further forward.

Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The Publishers Association commented:

“The Publishers Association has a number of concerns with the approach being taken towards reform of copyright laws, which seems to disregard the valuable contribution made by the creative and knowledge industries to the British economy.

“Many of the proposals for change are highly questionable, based on little or no evidence.  It is vital that at this early stage in the consultation the government makes a more balanced assessment of the impact on successful companies.  Writers and publishers depend upon robust and flexible copyright in order to earn from their activity and deliver growth.

“In parallel to this consultation, The Publishers Association firmly supports the proposal for the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange, which will add transparency and ease to the way that rights information is gathered and exchanged, and will improve our copyright framework.  The DCE could solve many of the problems with digital licensing.  It is a more nuanced instrument than the radical erosion of copyright which is currently subject to consultation.  And by working with the grain of the commercial reality of the market it will contribute to economic growth.”

Read The PA's submission here.

For further information please contact Victoria Lustigman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and 020 7691 1411.



Notes to Editors

The Publishers Association

The Publishers Association (PA) is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership is comprised of 117 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors.  Its core service is representation and lobbying, around copyright, rights and other matters relevant to members, who represent roughly 80% of the industry by turnover.

The Consultation on Copyright

The Consultation on Proposals to Change the UK’s Copyright System was launched by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on 14th December 2011. Proposals in the consultation are based on recommendations in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, with added proposals from the IPO. The consultation closes on 21st March 2012. Further details can be found below:

The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property

The Hargreaves Review was announced by the Prime Minister in November of 2010 to assess the UK’s copyright laws as a means of enhancing growth and innovation. Professor Ian Hargreaves led the Review and reported his findings in May 2011. The Digital Copyright Exchange and Copyright Consultation follow on from the Hargreaves Review. Further details can be found below: