UK

Do you know your social media rights?

Do you know your social media rights?

UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

socialphotos

Have you ever uploaded a photo to Facebook, Instagram or Flickr?

If so, you’ll probably want to read this, because the rules on who can exploit your work have now changed radically, overnight.

 Amateur and professional illustrators and photographers alike will find themselves ensnared by the changes, the result of lobbying by Silicon Valley and radical bureaucrats and academics. The changes are enacted in the sprawling Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which received Royal Assent last week, and it marks a huge shift in power away from citizens and towards large US corporations.

How so? Previously, and in most of the world today, ownership of your creation is automatic, and legally considered to be an individual’s property. That’s enshrined in the Berne Convention and other international treaties, where it’s considered to be a basic human right. What this means in practice is that you can go after somebody who exploits it without your permission – even if pursuing them is cumbersome and expensive.

The UK coalition government’s new law reverses this human right. When last year Instagram attempted to do something similar, it met a furious backlash. But the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has sailed through without most amateurs or semi-professionals even realising the consequences.

The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans – the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation – millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.

For the first time anywhere in the world, the Act will permit the widespread commercial exploitation of unidentified work – the user only needs to perform a “diligent search”. But since this is likely to come up with a blank, they can proceed with impunity. The Act states that a user of a work can act as if they are the owner of the work (which should be you) if they’re given permission to do so by the Secretary of State.

The Act also fails to prohibit sub-licensing, meaning that once somebody has your work, they can wholesale it. This gives the green light to a new content-scraping industry, an industry that doesn’t have to pay the originator a penny. Such is the consequence of “rebalancing copyright”, in reality.

What now?

Quite what happens next is not clear, because the Act is merely enabling legislation – the nitty gritty will come in the form of statutory instruments, to be tabled later in the year. Parliament has not voted down a statutory instrument since 1979, so the political process is probably now a formality.

In practice, you’ll have two stark choices to prevent being ripped off: remove your work from the internet entirely, or opt-out by registering it. And registration will be on a work-by-work basis.

“People can now use stuff without your permission,” explained photo rights campaigner Paul Ellis. “To stop that you have to register your work in a registry – but registering stuff is an activity that costs you time and money. So what was your property by default will only remain yours if you take active steps, and absorb the costs, if it is formally registered to you as the owner.”

And right now, Ellis says, there’s only one registry, PLUS. Photographers, including David Bailey, condemned the government for rushing through the legislation before other registries – such as the Copyright Hub – could sort themselves out.

“The mass of the public will never realise they’ve been robbed,” thinks Ellis. The radical free-our-information bureaucrats at the Intellectual Property Office had already attempted to smuggle orphan works rules through via the Digital Economy Act in 2010, but were rebuffed. Thanks to a Google-friendly Conservative-led administration, they’ve now triumphed.

Three other consequences appear possible.

One is a barrage of litigation from UK creators – and overseas owners who find their work Hoovered into extended collective licensing programs. International treaties allow a country to be ostracised and punished. The threat has already been made clear from US writers and photographers, who’ve promised “a firestorm“. Reciprocal royalty arrangements can also be suspended, on the basis of “if you steal our stuff, UK, we won’t pay you”. In addition, a judicial review, based on the premise that the Act gives Minister unconstitutional power over the disposal of private property, is not out of the question.

Secondly, the disappearance of useful material from the internet is likely to accelerate – the exact opposite of what supporters wish for. We recently highlighted the case of an aerial photographer who’s moving work outside the UK, and we’ve heard of several who are taking their photos away from the web, and into lockers. The internet is poorer without a diverse creative economy – because creators need legal certainty of property rights.

And finally, there’s the macroeconomic consequences for the UK economy.

The notorious ‘Google Review’ chaired by Ian Hargreaves failed to undertake adequate impact assessments, a giveaway that even the most rabid “copyright reformers” recognise there isn’t an economic case to be made for taking everyone’s stuff and giving it away.

“There’s value in works, and if anybody can exploit them except the person who creates them, then value is transferred to the exploiter,” explains Ellis. “This is a massive value transfer out of the UK economy to US tech companies.”

Where it will remain, he thinks, because UK tech/media companies – should they appear – almost invariably become US-owned.

Copyright “reformers” of course rarely like to talk about such unpleasant matters – and will steer the conversation away from economic consequences as rapidly as possible. Indeed, the they generally talk using Orwellian euphemisms – like “liberalising” or “rebalancing” copyright. It’s rarely presented as an individual’s ability to go to market being removed. This is what “copyright reform” looks like in practice.

“It’s corporate capitalism,” says Ellis. “Ideally you want to empower individuals to trade, and keep the proceeds of their trade. The UK has just lost that.”

So while the Twitterati and intelligentsia were ranting away about “Big Content”, we’ve just lost the ability to sell our own content. In other words, you’ve just been royally fucked.

Source : The Register

Will.i.am, Sub Focus and Misha B added to Wireless Festival line-up

Will.i.am, Sub Focus and Misha B added to Wireless Festival line-up

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Will.i.am has been confirmed as a special guest for Legends of The Summer featuring Justin Timberlake and Jay Z at Wireless Festival.

The Scream & Shout singer was announced along with a raft of other artists that include Sub Focus (Live), Zane Lowe (DJ Set), Bluey Robinson, Drop City Yacht Club, Devlin, Taboo and Misha B.

Fazer, Mikky Ekko, Giggs, Watsky, A*M*E and Taboo will perform on the Yahoo! Stage meanwhile.

The festival’s main draw will be the already-announced Timberlake and Jay Z, who will co-headline the third and final date on July 14.

The pair will play individual dates on the two days beforehand, with Timberlake showing off tracks from his new album The 20/20 Experience, joined by Snoop Dogg, Miguel, Frank Ocean and more.

The London festival moves from Hyde Park to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this year, and will also see performances from A Tribe Called Quest, NAS, A$AP Rocky, Jessie Ware, Katy B, Magnetic Man, Rizzle Kicks and 2 Chainz.

Source : Metro London

Beyonce dazzles at London’s O2

Beyonce dazzles at London’s O2

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Beyonce dazzles at London’s O2

To her fans she is Beyonce and according to her tour title she is Mrs Carter, but whatever name she uses the former Destiny’s Child star never fails to dazzle.

By Rosa Silverman

Monday night’s show at London’s O2 arena was no exception, with the Crazy in Love singer mesmerizing the crowds with her showstopping outfits and polished choreography.

Performing her Mrs Carter show in the capital for the first night, she took to the stage in a series of racy costumes that made no attempt to hide her famous curves.

Pictures of the gig were quick to appear on Twitter, despite the photo ban that the singer has imposed on audience members at her concerts.

The Mrs Carter Show World Tour began in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on April 15.

Its title is a reference to Beyoncé’s marriage to Jay-Z, the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter.

 

She is performing a total of 11 concerts in the UK this month and next, before returning for one more show at Twickenham Stadium on June 1.

She announced the tour, her fourth solo one, after performing at the Super Bowl half-time show earlier this year in the US.

Her UK dates come two years after her performance at the Glastonbury music festival, which Jay Z has also played.

The show was the first of four dates in London and she plays the same venue tonight, Wednesday and Friday.

Following her Superbowl performance in February, Beyonce’s publicist asked news websites to remove photos of her on stage that were deemed “unflattering”.

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in EVERY OTHER major UK city

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in EVERY OTHER major UK city

London Living 

  • The report from the Land Registry highlights the gulf between London and the rest of the UK
  • In the capital, the average house price has increased by 9.6 per cent
  • Of properties sold over £1m in England and Wales, two-thirds are in London
  • In regional cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool prices have fallen

By BECKY BARROW @ The Daily Mail UK

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in every other major city in the UK, a report from the Land Registry revealed today.

The report highlights the gulf between the capital’s property market, where prices have reached an all-time high, and the rest of the UK, where they are falling by up to 16.5 per cent a year.

In London, the average home now costs £374,568, having soared by 9.6 per cent over the last year, according to the Land Registry.

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day - where prices have reached an all-time high - but are flat or falling in every other major city in the UKAll-time high: House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but are flat or falling in every other major city in the UK

This is equal to around £90 every single day, including weekends.

In the most exclusive corner of London – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – the average property costs £1.1million, up by an eye-watering £120,000 over the last year.

 

Of all the properties sold for more than £1million in England and Wales, around two-thirds are in London.

Around 13 homes every day change hands for more than £1million in the capital, according to the Land Registry, which excludes Scotland.

The Royal Borough of Kensington (pictured) and Chelsea have the average property costs £1.1million, up £120,000 over the last yearCostly corner: The Royal Borough of Kensington (pictured) and Chelsea have an average property price of £1.1million, up £120,000 over the last year

But the rest of the country tells a very different story, fuelling an unprecedented property apartheid between the capital and the rest of the country.

The Land Registry figures show prices have dropped over the last year in the vast majority of urban areas.

Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Wakefield, Wigan and Wolverhampton are all on the casualty list.

For example, house prices in Liverpool have fallen four per cent since last March.

The average home used to be worth £93,514 but it has dropped to just £89,974, a fall of £3,720 or £10 a day.

Overall, the Land Registry said the average house price in England and Wales is £161,793, up 0.1 per cent in March and up 0.9 per cent over the last year.

Outside London, prices are rising in some of the more expensive areas such as Surrey and Windsor and Maidenhead, but falling 16.5 per cent in Middlesbrough.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of the estate agency Marsh & Parsons, said: ‘House price growth in London continues to surge ahead of the rest of the country with the capital continuing to operate in another realm.’

Giles Hannah, managing director of the upmarket estate agency VanHan, said: ‘There is no getting away from the fact that national average indices conceal significant regional differences.

‘London is undoubtedly the big success story and is doing a good job of pulling up the national average.

Casualty list: House prices in Liverpool (pictured) have fallen by four per cent since last March, a fall of £10 a dayCasualty list: House prices in Liverpool (pictured) have fallen by four per cent since last March, a fall of £10 a day while in Manchester housing prices fell by £9.05 a day

‘Its residential sales market remains robust with prices continuing to rise. International buyers, particularly from Asia, are fuelling demand for best in-class properties and are snapping up properties at 10 to 14 per cent discounts as a result of the weakness of sterling compared with their own currencies.’

The majority of people who bought ‘super-prime’ homes in the countryside last year were foreigners, the first time that British buyers have become a minority.

The research, by Knight Frank, looked at the nationality of people who bought country homes for £5million or more last year from the upmarket estate agency In 2010 and 2011, foreigners accounted for around 40 per cent of buyers.

Last year, it tipped over the 50 per cent mark for the first time to reach 55 per cent.

Around one in four buyers came from Russia and its former republics, such as Armenia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

HOW THE GULF WIDENS BETWEEN THE CAPITAL’S PROPERTY MARKET AND THE REST OF THE UK

 

March 2012 March 2013 Daily equivalent
London £341,759 £374,568 +£89.89
Birmingham £112,832 £111,035 -£4.90
Leeds £126,205 £123,658 -£6.97
Liverpool £93,514 £89,974 -£10.19
Manchester £95,341 £92,036 -£9.05
Sheffield £114,531 £114,121 -£1.12

Source: Land Registry

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