Yes! 43

Thanks to all the hard work of the photographers of the Stop43 website and EPUK [the Editorial Photographers UK group] – not to mention the 20,000 odd letters written to MPs by professional and amateur photographers alike – the controversial clause on so-called ‘orphan works’ was taken out of the Digital Economy Bill as it was rammed through parliament last night.

“The UK Government wanted to introduce a law to allow anyone to use your photographs commercially, or in ways you might not like, without asking you first. THEY HAVE FAILED,” the campaign coordinators write.

“Orphan works are wrongly named, because they are not “orphan” at all. They remain our property. It is more proper to think of them as lost clones of our children, whom we still have with us. That is why we do not know that their clones are lost – our children have been cloned and the clones separated from us without our knowledge. In most cases, they were kidnapped. This central point has become lost.”

Unbelieveably, out of 646 MPs currently in the house, just 30 or so bothered to turn up for the late-night debate on this hugely complex bill as it was sneaked through in what’s known as ‘the wash up’ – a short period where unpopular legislation often pops up with minimal time for debate in the dog-days of a parliament. Parliament will be dissolved later this week and a general election held on May 6.

With turnouts like that, MPs have no business lecturing apathetic voters about the importance of getting out to the polling station on election day.

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