We continue to work within Europe as the implications of Brexit unfold. We are navigating changes to current legislation, and continuing to support EU legislation currently in development. We will also work with our partners and government to inform new international trade negotiations where appropriate.
We are doing much of this work with the British Copyright Council. The BCC is an independent group of creators, performers, publishers and producers across all disciplines, including the AOI. It is well respected by government and meets regularly with the Intellectual Property office (The IPO).
“We want to ensure that Brexit is not detrimental to our industry – and where possible it offers an improvement.”
The draft “Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market” is an important piece of European Union legislation designed to modernise copyright for the digital age. If passed, it will help ensure a much fairer deal for those working in the creative sector.
It shouldn’t be controversial but there was significant and coordinated opposition across the EU to two parts of the draft Directive:
• Article 11, which introduces a new right for press publishers, and;
• Article 13, which requires certain online content-sharing services that allow users to upload copyright works, such as music and images, to obtain a licence from the rights holders or take measures to prevent their availability.
The campaign against Articles 11 and 13 was characterised by misconception and misinformation, including claims that the directive will end the sharing of hyperlinks and introduce censorship. MEPs were subject to intense, mass lobbying by activists, backed by internet giants who want to preserve their commercial advantage at the expense of creators whose content drives revenue on their platforms.
To find out what Articles 11 and 13 really say, read the British Copyright Council’s “Copyright directive paper 2 – the facts”.
In September 2018 MEPs voted in the second round for the Directive to progress to the next stage, which is where the final text of the Directive will be decided. Talks on this commence in October 2018, with final text hopefully completed for the end of the year.
If the Directive is concluded prior to the Brexit date it will be required to be implimented into UK law by December 2020.
There is a large suite of legislation currently underway in the EU under the heading of the Digital Single Market Strategy. There is a proposed EU directive on copyright and the Digital Single Market which, amongst other things, includes a section on fair remuneration in contracts of authors and performers and is largely good news for illustrators as it includes:
a. An appropriate level of transparency in contracts.
b. Windfall Clauses. If something does better an expected the illustrator shares in the profits.
c. Use it or Lose it rights. To stop rights being warehoused by commissioners certain rights (dramatisation / merchandising etc) should revert to the creator if they have not been exploited within a certain time period.
All of this is due to be passed as a Bill shortly before we leave Europe (and therefore become European law). We want to ensure that the UK benefits from it, and regardless of the timescale, that it is implemented into U.K. Law.
We know that the UK is going to have to negotiate some new trade deals and we are working to ensure that our excellent copyright will be a benchmark of great practise and an exportable asset – not something to be bartered.
Again we are working with the BCC and we know we will be closely aligned with other large players in film, music etc. who all rely on copyright to sustain their industries.
British illustration talent is commissioned across boundaries, from the USA, Europe and the rest of the world and we want to make sure there are no barriers to that.
AOI have written in July 2018 to the Department of International Trade (DIT) supporting the British Copyright Council’s international trade consideration feedback concerning the withdrawal from the European Union following a consultative meeting with the BCC, Intellectual Property Office and DIT.
Points include the importance of consultation on UK’s current copyright system regarding necessary modifications on withdrawal from the EU; that there must be level playing field between individual creators and online content-sharing services and other tech companies; that the UK should improve the streamlining of withholding tax procedures from other countries in trade agreements and that the UK’s strong copyright system be upheld. See the full document: DiT_TradeConsiderations_AsscOfIllus
In October 2018 we responded to the Department of of International Trade consultation on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Government is considering signing up to this, and it is important that copyright protected in any agreements with countries that do not have the UK’s robust copyright regime.
DACS sent a letter to the PM about the issues relating to the CPTPP in November 2018 and AOI was a signatory, along with Association of Photographers and Society of Authors. More details here.
The European Illustrators Forum is a pan European network offering a voice for illustration in Europe. It communicates the values of illustration and image making and furthers exchange of knowledge and critical debate between professional illustrators and their clients across Europe through conferences, exhibitions, research and education.
The AOI is a founding Member of EIF and sits on its board.