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Thursday, 22 March 2007

More Welsh news


The IPKat has been informed by the Patent Office that the Government of Wales Act 2006 will be making a few modifications to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 once the Act comes into force immediately after this year's elections in Wales.

Schedules 10 and 12 of the Act will remove Crown Copyright (section 163: first owner: HM the Queen) from works produced by the National Assembly for Wales, because after the elections the Assembly will not be a Crown body. Instead, the Assembly will own the copyright itself and will be allowed to decide what to do with it, as has already happened for the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The term of protection will also be reduced from its current 125 years to a mere 50 years.


The whole concept of Crown Copyright tends to grate against this Kat's principles of commonsense and fair play. Haven't we (as UK subjects) already paid for these works to be created? The very idea that the government has a right to sell back to us what we already own doesn't seem very fair. Perhaps the new Welsh assembly will want to take a more sensible stand on the matter. Then again, says Merpel, don't hold your breath: they will probably want as much power as they can get hold of.


More arguments against Crown Copyright here.

2 comments:

Simon said...

Some Crown copyright material has value and arguably should not be subject to available for free copying - Ordnance Survey maps are a good example. Also, government departments are getting leaned on to make money any which way they can.

David said...

I agree that the OS data has value, but I don't agree that we should have to pay twice for it, and very much object to the government's 'trading fund' operations. So many more applications for OS data could be freed up if the data could be made freely available, as is the case for the US. I recommend reading more on the Guardian's 'free our data' campaign (see link above).

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