Taxing Widows & Orphans

The Digital Economy Bill going through Parliament will legislate that Orphan works are protected by copyright (i.e.stuff where the rights holder cannot be identified — 40% of the British Libray archive collection is orphaned) All types of work can become orphaned; for example, archival sound and video and of course photographs — particularly on the internet where metadata is easily stripped away.

The fine print on this legislation is still to be worked out but the inference is that HMG will act as a body to police orphaned copyright thus collecting the digital rights – Talk about stealth taxes. 

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