The proposed changes to the law on orphaned works will mean that all works where the copyright holders are unknown or uncontactable will be assumed to be available for commercial exploitation and the rights to do so will be left in the hands of 'collecting societies' who will be able to negotiate licenses to use material without the express permission of the material's creators.
This represents a fundamental reversal of creators' current rights under copyright law and requires creators to explicitly assert their rights over material or face losing those rights. The government is quick to defend the intellectual property rights of big business and should do no less on behalf of the individuals and smaller creative organisations who contribute so much to the country's economy and character.
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