According to trade organisation the Publishers’ Association (PA), e-book sales are soaring in part due to the UK’s “robust and flexible copyright framework,” with the value of digital fiction sales in the first half of this year up 188 percent on the same period in 2011.
The issue of copyright for digital books is an important one and the PA is at the forefront of calls to the Government to ensure that copyright is not eroded and that creators’ rights are protected on-line.
One of the tools offered to publishers by the PA is its Copyright Infringement Portal, which is free to all PA members and can be used to report infringements.
Last year the Government outlined plans to reform the UK’s copyright laws to take into account the recommendations of Professor Ian Hargreaves in his review of the UK’s intellectual property (IP) framework.
Under the proposals, the Government would allow limited private copying and would exempt parody and pastiche, it would also allow more freedom for library archivists and non-commercial researchers.
There are also plans to make it easier for so-called ‘orphan’ works, which is copyrighted material, the owner of which is unknown or cannot be identified, to be utilised by others.
The Government has also detailed planned changes to the copyright licensing regime.
As a solicitor, Rebecca Howlett, specialises in intellectual property
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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