UK government recently accepted recommendations for major changes to the current copyright system, while UK Parliament opened an inquiry into the matter.
Changes to the UK copyright law were recommended in a “Digital Opportunity” review headed by Ian Hargreaves, Digital Economy Chair at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff Business School. The report, commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office and published on 18 May 2011, is available here <http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview.htm> .
The UK government responded http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipresponse-full.pdf to the Hargreaves review in early August 2011, generally accepting all 10 recommendations and laying out new strategies for international IP http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipresponse-international.pdf and IP crime http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipcrimestrategy2011.pdf. The UK government announced that it intends to bring forward an orphan works scheme this fall, subject to satisfactory safeguards for the interests of both owners of “orphan rights” and rightholders who could suffer from unfair competition from an unfair orphan works scheme. It also refers to diligent search, licensing at market rates and respect for reappearing rightholders.
On 16 August 2011, the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee announced an inquiry into the recommendations of the Hargreaves review and the government response. The link for more information is here http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-sele....