Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

ERR 51

Submission from the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)

1. DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society) is the UK’s leading visual arts rights management organisation representing nearly 80,000 visual artists. Established by artists for artists in 1984 as a not-for-profit organisation to promote and protect the copyright and related rights of visual artists, DACS is constituted as a company limited by guarantee under UK law, and is currently governed by a board of non-executive directors comprising representatives from a range of artistic disciplines alongside others drawn from business and the legal profession. In 2011 DACS paid royalties of £8.2 million to visual artists.

2. DACS provides three rights management services for artists and their beneficiaries:

a. Collective rights management (Payback)

b. Copyright licensing

c. Artist’s Resale Right

3. The Enterprise Regulatory Reform (ERR) Bill contains a clause of some concern to DACS, in addition to recent amendments which have been tabled.

4. DACS shares the concerns expressed by the Alliance Against IP Theft in relation to the drafting of Section 56.

5. There are proposals of further reforms to the UK’s copyright framework which we understand are still being considered by the Government. These reforms are controversial and our members have already expressed their concerns in this regard. Section 56 seems to enable the enactment of future reforms by Statutory Instrument, removing the requirement for Parliamentary debate. This is of serious concern to us and our members.

6. DACS understands that the Intellectual Property Office has made it clear that the intention of Section 56 is to allow the Government to ensure existing penalties for copyright offences are maintained when amending existing exceptions. If this is the genuine intention of Section 56, then we would ask that it be reworded to reflect this. We would support the amendments to Section 56 tabled by Mr Iain Wright (published on 12 July 2012).

7. DACS has welcomed the Government’s proposal to enable Extended Collective Licensing in the UK, and to seek to resolve the issue of licensing orphan works.

8. We do have concerns about the detail of some of the amendments introduced by Mr Norman Lamb on 5 July 2012. Particularly 116 A (5) (c) which currently implies that a body authorised to grant licences to use orphan works is not able to take a licence to use orphan works. We recognise that this seeks to deal with the issue of self-licensing, where bodies could potentially claim a work is an orphan and license to use it themselves. We agree with the proposal to capture this in the present Bill, however, this provision implies that if DACS, for example, were a licensing body dealing with visual works, that we would not be able to ever take a licence to use an orphan music track for example. Better wording may be: ‘not to be granted by the body who is also seeking the licence.’

9. In addition DACS is seeking assurances from the Government that the tabled amendments enabling Extended Collective Licensing deals with the criminal liability which arises under Section 107 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (1988).

July 2012

Prepared 18th July 2012