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NUJ welcomes committee recommendations on copyright

3 October 2013

The NUJ is finally able to welcome some positive news on copyright from our elected members of parliament.

Having argued vehemently against the introduction of new exceptions to copyright, the union is particularly pleased by the position of the parliamentary select committee on culture, media and sport. They say:

"…(they are) not persuaded that the introduction of new copyright exceptions will bring the benefits claimed (by Professor Hargreaves and in government impact assessments) and believe that generally the existing law works well. We recommend that the introduction or amendment of copyright exceptions should be contemplated only following detailed impact assessments and after proper parliamentary scrutiny on an individual basis."

This is in line with the NUJ’s criticism of the Hargreaves report.

The union urges MPs and the government to take note of the report, and proceed only when there is sufficient evidence.

Also telling is the statement by the responsible minister, Viscount Younger, as to who would benefit. He said:

"Google is one of several search engines and I am very aware of their power, put it that way. I am also very aware, I think, that they have access, for whatever reason, to higher levels than me in No. 10, I understand."

The NUJ remains regretful that our arguments in favour of improved moral rights, which include the right to be identified and to protect the integrity of our work, have been ignored. In the digital age, the absence of such rights has an impact on every citizen.

Read the culture, media and sport select committee third report: Supporting the creative economy

Tags: , copyright, authors' rights, google, digital media, new media, dcms, hargreaves report, parliament uk