Create copyright concern
IT'S TIME to take the campaign on copyright and authors' rights beyond the people directly involved. London Freelance Branch asks you to write to your MP to raise their awareness. The November 2001 Freelance included a draft on which you can base a letter from your own experience, and a mini-poster setting out some reasons why creators' rights are important as a matter of public policy, not just as a matter of our livelihoods and reputations.
We also present a reminder of what your rights as a creator in fact are. Don't hesitate to ask the Freelance Office for extra copies of this issue for anyone who may find them informative: do send a stamped addressed envelope.
The NUJ nationally is campaigning to raise awareness through the Creators' Rights Alliance (CRA). Carmel Bedford writes:
The CRA met regulators of the music industry and of the press and government policy advisors at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on 14 September. CRA representatives included John Foster of the NUJ, Howard Evans of the Musicians' Union, Charles Marriott of the Directors' Guild, Bernie Corbett of the Writers' Guild, David Ferguson of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and CRA Chair, and me as CRA Administrator. Concerns raised included attempts by broadcasters to demand the signing away of all rights in the face of blacklisting. "It's interesting that since the creation of the CRA, some of our member organisations have experienced a dramatically better relationship with the BBC", Ferguson told the meeting, "However, relations with the producers and independent broadcasters remain deeply depressing".
David's overall impression was of a positive response to CRA concerns, particularly on moral rights and the needs of the freelance creative community. Sally Edgington of the DCMS agreed to meet with the CRA six-monthly and urged the CRA to consult with the Copyright Directorate within the Department of Trade and Industry.