Adam Rendle, associate at international law firm Taylor Wessing clears some of the misunderstanding surrounding the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which received Royal Assent on 25 April.
Much has been written about the damaging and radical effect of the changes to copyright licensing of “orphan works” introduced in last week’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act. Such conclusions are premature and may turn out to be overblown in practice.
The Act is a piece of “framework” legislation, which contains the power for the Secretary of State to introduce licensing of orphan works but leaves the detail to be filled in at a later date, through secondary legislation. When introduced, the new licensing powers will represent significant changes in the landscape of copyright licensing in the UK as well as a significant shift in favour of users of copyright works, at the potential expense of copyright owners. It is evidence