The UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act looks like the British version of the US Orphan Works act that keeps being proposed and thankfully, to this point, not passed.
These sorts of legislation have a definite and negative impact on artists, photographers, and more who make a living from their art. In the art licensing industry, we make money by legally granting the rights to use our work through contracts and a payment – either a royalty on sales or a flat fee. If things can pretty easily be used if the person or company says “I looked and couldn’t figure out who it belonged to so it’s free game!” our livelihoods will suffer.
I’m not very familiar with how things work in the UK but it looks like they will have to register copyrights like we do with the Library of Congress in the US in order to protect rights to your own creations.
Since I’m certainly no expert on this, I will simply share the link so you can see what is going on.
Here’s to your creative – and legally protected – success!
– Tara Reed