The Instagram Act: a copyright response

Nowadays it has become so easy to sign a petition. A few clicks and your name is added to the thousands who agree with your point of view. With this ease comes a certain haste to get your message across. Never was this more true than with the so called Instagram Act officially called the “Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.”

A few weeks ago a petition was circulated which I shared entitled “Stop Legalised Theft of Copyrighted Works” which can be viewed here along with the response I’m referring to. Within the e-petition system, if it receives a curtain number of signatures then a response must be made.

I received the response this morning and I have to be honest it seems to show that the knee jerk reaction to the Instagram act was uncalled for. There are several points which I shall remark on from the statement.

Firstly that people cannot just presume a work to be orphaned. There is will be regulatory body who will need to be approached for a licence. They will ensure the proper checks have been done and take payment for this work to be held for the copyright holder if they where to reappear. This is somewhat reassuring to me as it still means a company has to pay for said works, however the amount is unclear “at a rate appropriate to the type of work and type of use.”

A second point I’ll raise from the response is “a civil infringement under UK copyright law to knowingly and without authority strip metadata from a copyright work” if this is the case are Flickr and FaceBook breaching that by stripping the metadata from your images as you upload. Baring in mind that an images is copyrighted from the second it is produced, so even your fun iPhone snaps taken in the pub are copyright before FaceBook strip the meta data from the image.

All interesting points and I’m sure as people withies legal know how than myself have areas of this response more interesting titbits will come to light.

If you’ve got any thoughts on the Instagram Act please feel free to discuss them down below.

Gordon C Burns


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