We work to ensure legislation supports illustrators as far as possible.

We feed into consultations to ensure the voice of illustrators is heard when legislation is changed, and work to ensure the Government safeguards the UK’s gold standard copyright regime that is so vital for sustaining our world-class creative sector, now worth around £100bn a year to the UK economy.

We also feed into and influence national level strategies and projects from the Government’s Orphan Works Licensing Scheme to DACS Payback.  We meet with politicians and law makers, raising concerns proactively.

“We have great copyright law in the UK but, as with any law, changes have been brought in over the years – and this will continue.”


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Trade Agreement: Japan 2019

We fed into the Department for International Trade’s consultation on trade with Japan in November 2019 which aims to inform DTI’s approach to the UK’s future trade relationship with Japan. You can read our submission: Japan Trade 2019.

Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market 2019
DIT Trade consultation 2018

Trade considerations concerning UK withdrawal from the EU UK Department for International Trade July 2018

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 wrote in July 2018 to the DIT supporting the British Copyright Council’s international trade consideration feedback concerning the withdrawal from the European Union.

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 Trade Considerations

CPTPP 2018

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

In October 2018 we responded to the Department of of International Trade consultation on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The UK 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.

Copyright Licensing Agency Extended Collective Licence 2018
Fair Terms for Creators Bill

This is a proposed bill which will address many of the contract issues that creators have to deal with such as clarity in contracts, reasonableness of terms, fair remuneration and moral rights waivers – you can find out more here.

Building our Industrial Strategy 2018

This is an important review which will result in a modern industrial strategy and economy that works for everyone. There is a specific section considering the Creative Industries. We have fed into the consultation for this, articulating the role of illustration and the creative industries within the UK economy and the need for ongoing support to see this thrive. You can read the final report here.

In May 2018 the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) responded to the submissions to the Intellectual Property Call for Views on the Industrial Strategy, which in November 2017 had asked ‘What can we do to encourage innovators to do more collaboration and commercialisation, to stimulate knowledge exchange and promote follow- on innovation?’

The Call set out a number of example proposals IPO had received, including the setting up of a Voluntary Intellectual Property Register which IPO proposed may give creators more ‘legal certainty’. In their 2018 response IPO noted ‘There was a lack of broad support for the establishment of a Voluntary Register for unregistered IP rights, with many respondents noting the additional legal and administrative burdens such a system could introduce.’

There is no requirement for copyright holders to register their IP in the UK, and AOI had stated that we didn’t believe a voluntary register would benefit creators. Our response had mentioned concerns over the additional time and effort required to register works for individual freelancers or small businesses, combined with the potential cost of registering works, which many individual creators will consider an expense they cannot afford. We also queried how the scheme would legally ascertain the veracity of claims of ownership in registered works – this could lead to confusion rather than legal certainty.

Digital Economy Act 2017

This is a large Act covering many areas which do not pertain to illustrators – however there are some technicalities which do – for example the online intermediary codes. This is where providers are required to take responsibility for content which may be infringing copyright. AOI support this legislation.

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