Monday, March 30, 2009

Response to proposal for a digital rights agency

The Writers' Guild has submitted its response to the government discussion paper, What Role for a Digital Rights Agency? (pdf), that follows on from the Digital Britain Interim Report.

The Guild's response (pdf) welcomes some aspects of the proposals and also raises some concerns, including that:
We are concerned that the idea of a Rights Agency is introduced in the Digital Britain consultation documents mainly as a resource for rightsholders that are sizeable companies such as film and TV producers, broadcasters, etc. For this initiative to be truly democratic and effective it needs to be equally open to individual creators who either hold copyright and moral rights in their works, or have assigned/licensed/waived those rights in return for monetary or other rights under commercial contracts. This could be partially achieved by involving representatives of such creators – for instance, trade unions (such as the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain), collecting societies, and other associations, but to be entirely democratic and open, the Rights Agency will need to give full access to individuals.

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