Copyright campaigns

The London Manifesto

The London Manifesto was launched at the CILIP Copyright Executive Briefing on 1st April 2015 in London. It called for fair copyright that is fit for purpose and will benefit every European citizen.

Why fair copyright matters

Fair copyright across Europe is essential. Without it we will fail to adequately support research, innovation and growth, and hinder the ambition for a digital single market. With it we will better foster knowledge across borders, meet the needs of disabled people and take full advantage of the digital age.

The manifesto

The London Manifesto calls for reforms to:

  • Improve the rights of disabled people by supporting equal access to knowledge.
  • Provide libraries with the right to lend digital materials and continue to underpin knowledgeable societies in the digital age.
  • Allow libraries and archives to better support research through modern data mining techniques.
  • Create a more manageable system of copyright exceptions across EU member states.

Download the manifesto (PDF)

Our supporters

A range of leading libraries, archives, charities and museums signed up in support, including the Wellcome Trust, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Open Rights Group.

See a full list of supporters.


Free our history

In 2014 LACA launched a campaign calling on the UK Government to reduce the term of copyright protection in unpublished texts to the author’s lifetime plus 70 years.

Why it's important

At the moment the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works is to the end of 2039, regardless of how old the work is.

No other country in Europe has such restrictive provisions. European institutions are able to use such important historical material freely and lawfully, but in the UK we cannot.

As part of the First World War Centenary many organisations want to make unpublished works such as diaries and letters accessible to the public. Because they are still under copyright protection they cannot do so without permission from the rights holder.

Up to 50% of archival records are orphan works; the rights holder cannot be identified and/or traced. The Imperial War Museum has 1.75 million documents that are orphaned.

The campaign attracted support from the Imperial War Museums, Collections Trust, International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML) (UK&Irl), National Library of Scotland, Scottish Council on Archives, UCL Library and University of Leeds.

Letter to Lady Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property

The latest developments

Despite the high profile Free Our History media campaign to raise attention to the obstacles faced by cultural heritage and public sector organisations, the Government decided not to reform copyright to resolve this issue.

However, the Intellectual Property Office responded to the campaign by issuing a much needed Copyright Notice to clarify the legal position when putting an in copyright literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work on public display.