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    B1037 – Copyright Term Bill 2016, TSR Labour Party

    Copyright Term Bill 2016
    An Act to move commercially unviable copyrights into the public domain sooner

    BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

    1: Amendment to Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

    (1) All sections amended in this section are from the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48).
    (2) Replace section 12 with:
    "12 Duration of copyright in literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.

    (1) The following provisions have effect with respect to the duration of copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work.
    (2) Copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made, subject as follows.
    (3) If the work is of unknown authorship, no copyright shall be held within the work in question, unless and until its authorship is discovered, at which copyright shall be formed immediately, lasting until the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.
    (4) Where the country of origin of the work is not an EEA state and the author of the work is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright is that to which the work is entitled in the country of origin, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsections (2) to (3).
    (5) In relation to a work of joint authorship, the reference in subsection (4) to the author not being a national of an EEA state shall be construed as a reference to none of the authors being a national of an EEA state.
    (6) This section does not apply to Crown copyright or Parliamentary copyright (see sections 163 to 166D) or to copyright which subsists by virtue of section 168 (copyright of certain international organisations).
    (7) This section applies subject to the registration and renewal requirements in section 15B below."

    (3) Replace section 13A with:
    "13A Duration of copyright in sound recordings.

    (1) The following provisions have effect with respect to the duration of copyright in a sound recording.
    (2) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the recording is made.
    (3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    (4) Where the author of a sound recording is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright is that to which the sound recording is entitled in the country of which the author is a national, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsection (2).
    (5) If or to the extent that the application of subsection (4) would be at variance with an international obligation to which the United Kingdom became subject prior to 29th October 1993, the duration of copyright shall be as specified in subsection (2).
    (6) This section applies subject to the registration and renewal requirements in section 15B below."

    (4) Replace section 13B with:
    "13B Duration of copyright in films.

    (1) The following provisions have effect with respect to the duration of copyright in a film.
    (2) Copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the film was made.
    (3) Where the country of origin is not an EEA state and the author of the film is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright is that to which the work is entitled in the country of origin, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsection (2).
    (4) In relation to a film of which there are joint authors, the reference in subsection (3) to the author not being a national of an EEA state shall be construed as a reference to none of the authors being a national of an EEA state.
    (5) This section applies subject to the registration and renewal requirements in section 15B below."

    (5) Replace section 14 with:
    "14 Duration of copyright in broadcasts.

    (1) The following provisions have effect with respect to the duration of copyright in a broadcast.
    (2) Copyright in a broadcast expires at the end of the period of 30 years from the end of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made, subject as follows.
    (3) Where the author of the broadcast . . . is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright in the broadcast . . . is that to which it is entitled in the country of which the author is a national, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsection (2).
    (4) If or to the extent that the application of subsection (3) would be at variance with an international obligation to which the United Kingdom became subject prior to 29th October 1993, the duration of copyright shall be as specified in subsection (2).
    (5) Copyright in a repeat broadcast expires at the same time as the copyright in the original broadcast; and accordingly no copyright arises in respect of a repeat broadcast which is broadcast after the expiry of the copyright in the original broadcast.
    (6) A repeat broadcast means one which is a repeat of a broadcast previously made.
    (7) This section applies subject to the registration and renewal requirements in section 15B below."

    (6) Replace section 15 with:
    "15 Duration of copyright in typographical arrangements of published editions.

    (1) Copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition expires at the end of the period of 20 years from the end of the calendar year in which the edition was first published.
    (2) This section applies subject to the registration and renewal requirements in section 15B below."

    (7) Insert:
    "15B Registration and renewal.

    (1) Copyright shall not subside in a work unless the owner of the copyright registers it with the Copyright Registry.
    (2) Copyrights registered with the Copyright Registry shall expire after five years, or the expiry of the relevant term from the end of the year in which the work in question was made in sections 12-15 above (whichever is shorter), unless a renewal fee of five hundred pounds (£500) is paid, which creates a new term of five years or until the end of the relevant term in sections 12-15.
    (3) Payments of renewal fees may be recouped from any sales and/or transfer taxes relating to the copyright in question.
    (4) If a copyright is unregistered:
    (1) (a) If it has not previously been registered, then it may be registered and commence normal operation at any time.
    (1) (b) If it has been previously registered, and the end of a 60-day 'grace' period from the end of its previous registry has come, it may not subsequently be re-registered and copyright should be considered permanently expired in the work.
    (5) It shall be a defence to any claim of copyright infringement that the copyright was unregistered at the time.
    (6) The copyright registry shall be made publicly available.
    (7) Copyrights in existence before the 1st January 2017 shall be considered registered for legal purposes, whether or not they have in fact been registered, until the 1st January 2022."

    2: Commencement, Short Title and Extent

    (1) This Bill may be cited as the Copyright Term Act 2016;
    (2) This Bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
    (3) Shall come into force on the 1st January 2020.


    Notes
    Spoiler:
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    This Bill does a number of things. First, it generally shortens the copyright of all works. This is because for nearly all works, the period of commercial viability rarely extends beyond 2-3 years after their creation, and existing copyright terms for works which are no longer commercially viable often lead to their disappearing off the face of the earth[1]. Furthermore, copyright terms generally have been dramatically lengthened over the years with little explanation other than lobbying interests. Finally, the existing reference in the terms of many works to the death of the author is outdated, since it is somewhat rare that the author or their estate will actually own copyrights.

    The creation of a renewal requirement, and a register, solves two problems. First, there is a large problem whereby people who want to deal with a copyright work (especially in the creation of a derivative work) are unable to do so because they cannot discover who owns the copyright [2]. This becomes much less of a problem if they can refer to a public registry. The introduction of a renewal fee, with a small but not negligible fee (recoverable through recouping against sales taxes) means that only commercially viable copyrights will be upheld, and the rest can pass into the public domain[2].

    [1] Lessig, 'Free Culture', pp 109-115 http://www.free-culture.cc/freeculture.pdf
    [2] Landes, Posner, 'Indefinitely Renewable Copyright' (2003) 70 UCLR 471

    Original Act: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/contents
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    Surely it shouldn't be the year made but the year released for all of these things?
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    Nay.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Surely it shouldn't be the year made but the year released for all of these things?
    No.

    (Original post by iEthan)
    Nay.
    Why not?
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    No.



    Why not?
    But a film is made over years and years... So different scenes have different copyright expires?
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    (Original post by Aph)
    But a film is made over years and years... So different scenes have different copyright expires?
    No. Basically, copyright applies to the work as a whole, so the copyright of the film will last for x years after the film is made.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    No. Basically, copyright applies to the work as a whole, so the copyright of the film will last for x years after the film is made.
    Ahhh okay. So from the point the peice of media is produced and fully edited?

    Also how would this effect us internationally because aren't copyrights mostly homogeneous worldwide?
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Ahhh okay. So from the point the peice of media is produced and fully edited?

    Also how would this effect us internationally because aren't copyrights mostly homogeneous worldwide?
    There are some international agreements (TRIPS is one) which set drastically lower thresholds for minimum protections than we have in the UK. The UK's law is largely set by the EU under the InfoSoc Directive, so technically this is a breach, but I guess I can change the commencement date until 2020 or something.
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    I understand and support the basic idea that in order to claim copyright you register it, and renew it every five years. The fee seems OK for something such as a film with a multi million pound budget but a lot say for a small circulation book. Has any thought been given to either a sliding scale of charges or none at all, and any estimate of the scale/costs of the registration scheme been made?
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    Seems reasonable.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    I understand and support the basic idea that in order to claim copyright you register it, and renew it every five years. The fee seems OK for something such as a film with a multi million pound budget but a lot say for a small circulation book. Has any thought been given to either a sliding scale of charges or none at all, and any estimate of the scale/costs of the registration scheme been made?
    With small circulation books, copyright is significantly less important, because the fact that smaller authors/publishers cannot take advantage of economies of scale in publishing means that there tends to be less incentive for competitors to enter the market for that book even if they are legally able to do so (and larger companies won't see a sufficient opportunity horizon).

    It is also these smaller publishers which this Bill aims specifically to target, as it is small-run books and other art which is at greater risk of decay and eventually being lost to the world if it is not able to be disseminated on non-perishable media.
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    Aye.
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    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Aye. I see no reason to oppose
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    Aye definitely.
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    Aye to creativity, aye to commerciality, aye to free culture!
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    Aye, this act is extremely outdated.
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    Division! Clear the lobbies!
 
 
 
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