An update on Brexit

Luke AlcottCopyright law, EU, News, UK

As government negotiations on Brexit continue, authors in the UK have outlined their key concerns through channels including a parliamentary inquiry on authors’ earnings which has touched on the subject, and a session hosted by a collaboration of audiovisual authors’ organisations to discuss Brexit issues with parliamentarians. These have featured contributions from IAF members, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

The key issues for the inquiry on authors’ earnings and the concerns of audiovisual authors include:

The implementation of the EU Copyright Directive in the UK: this Directive contains beneficial measures that authors have campaigned for, including an obligation for publishers to transparently account for how they exploit an author’s works.

Maintaining a strong copyright regime: there is support for the current UK copyright regime which is well balanced in both rewarding authors for their work and making it available to users. Authors in the UK do not want to see similar measures to the broad exceptions that have caused concern in Canada.

Regional or national exhaustion: authors and publishers hope that if the UK leaves the European exhaustion framework, it will establish a national exhaustion framework so that UK works can be published separately in the UK and in other markets around the world without concern of parallel importation.

Reciprocal agreements on UK creators’ economic rights with the EU: collecting societies in the UK have reciprocal agreements across the EU that ensures UK authors are paid for a wide range of uses of their works; UK authors want these arrangements to continue after Brexit.

IAF member DACS have been keeping their members informed of the impact Brexit could have on visual artists. DACS has explained that many of their copyright concerns are now expected to be resolved with the status quo preserved. This is expected as a result of a commitment to preserve copyright and the Artist’s Resale Right in the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration.  It will also be enabled by a statutory instrument that will ensure remuneration systems, such as the Artist’s Resale Right that had been established with EU membership in mind, will be simply amended to continue for the UK.

You can find a summary of the audiovisual authors’ concerns here.