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Hudson: 'hands off copyright'
30.04.09 | Philip Jones
Ian Hudson, out-going president of the Publishers Association, has urged the government to stop wasting publisher resources on reviews of copyright law driven by "misguided academics" and "over-ambitious public institutions". In his final speech as PA president at the PA a.g.m., Hudson said there had been three "fundamental" challenges to copyright in his time as PA president. But he said the government should stop trying to weaken copyright law, and instead protect its creative businesses.
He said: "Please refocus your energies in support of British and European publishers and other creative industries. Please refrain from tying up our resources in responding to further attempts to water down copyright at the behest of misguided academics, over-ambitious public institutions and populist consumer groups."
PA chief executive Simon Juden said he had experienced four reviews of copyright in his two years at the PA. "Is copyright fit for purpose in the digital age? It is a fair question to ask once, accept the answer and move on." However, Juden said publishers needed to be careful not to be seen to be "locking up content". He said: "We need to make it clear to the government that we are facilitating access. Publishers don't lock up content, we make it available."
New PA president Simon Allen, senior vice-president, international at McGraw-Hill, echoed these views: "We are not being protectionist and old fashioned, we are just protecting the value of our content." He added: "All we have are our people and our content, it is critical that we invest carefuly and wisely to protect that copyright."