Fun With UK Copyright Laws

Copyright legislation will destroy design publishing says Charlotte Fiell:

New legislation regarding the use of images of “works of artistic craftsmanship” is being introduced next year as part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.

The legal reform will extend copyright protection on mass-produced artistic works from 25 years to the length of the author’s life, plus 70 years – the same as books and music.

While the main intention of the law is to protect mass-produced products from copycats, it could also mean 2D images of designed objects will be subject to the same copyright rules as 3D copies. This would mean publishers will be forced to pay licensing fees for images of designed objects.

“What we’ve got here is an unintended consequence of probably well-meaning legislation, but it could have a disastrous effect on design teaching and general debates about design too,” Fiell told Dezeen.

What about a carve-out clause:

“There’s a simple fix, which is to have what’s known as a carve-out clause that says yes this governs 2D copies or representations, but not if they’re used in publications or for review purposes,” she added.

According to the consultation document, the government will make no distinction between a 3D or 2D copy.