Write to the IPO about the Copyright Directive

11 February 2019

We are encouraging our members and supporters to write to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) about the EU Copyright Directive.

Talks involving the European Council, Commission and Parliament on the EU Copyright Directive are still ongoing. We understand that the European Council (which comprises government representatives of each EU member state) is struggling to agree on a position. 

The Copyright Directive is an important piece of legislation for authors and other creators, and time is running out for the Directive to be passed. You can read more about our position on the Copyright Directive here.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the UK government body with responsibility for copyright. Please write to the IPO to ensure that the voices of UK authors are heard at European Council level. We have drafted a template letter for you to use below.


FAO Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement Director and David Beckett, Senior Copyright Policy Advisor


Dear Ms Lynch and Mr Beckett

I am writing as a member of the Society of Authors to urge you to maintain support for the Copyright Directive throughout discussions in COREPER and Trilogue proceedings.

There has been an intense and well-funded campaign against the Directive by large tech companies, whose economic interests are threatening to override the interests of the creators the Directive is intended to protect. A careful reading of the text shows the purported fears of some internet users and multinational corporations are simply misconceived, and that the interests of individuals are expressly balanced against those who own the rights to creative works.

The Directive contains a number of proposals to strengthen the rights of authors and other creators. Articles 14 to 16 – which would introduce greater transparency in the value chain and ‘bestseller clauses’ in contracts – are particularly important for UK authors. The Directive as a whole will fairly reward and incentivise creativity for many years to come. To drop proposals that have been in the making for so long at this late stage would be catastrophic for the UK’s creative industries, which are worth over £100bn a year to the economy.  

I urge you to continue to support the Copyright Directive to ensure a bright future for UK creators and the creative industries.

Yours sincerely  


Colin Brown (15/02/2019 07:43)
" Copyright law in the UK relating to the use of historic images - those say over 100 years old - makes it uneconomic to write history books with 30 or so images. I had to pay the National Portrait Galler three times for one image to be used in a book, a magazine article about the same book and a newspaper article about the book. It was a total rip off and was repeated by the Royal Archives and the rest of the public archives. I had to pay for a Georgian cartoon to be reproduced and could not use old images of Wellington without paying further rip off sums. America seems to have a different view according to Wickipedia - the fair use rule: Section 107 of the US Copyright Act states:

the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright"
Olivia Johnston (11/02/2019 06:48)
" I strongly support the stance of the Society of Authors and urge you to support the Copyright Do."
Dick bate5 (11/02/2019 05:08)
" I strongly support this campaign"
Peter Ledger (11/02/2019 04:22)
" I support the stance taken by the Society of Authors."

 Security code