WELCOME TO THE FIRST ‘HOT NEWS’ ISSUE OF OUR WEBSITE
Every month we will highlight topical issues – some of these we will cover in special features in the future. Please contact those named below if you would like more detailed information on any of this month’s ‘Hot News’ items:-
MILLIONS OF POUNDS of National Lottery money will be available for UK film productions through the Arts Council’s franchise scheme. Up to 4 franchises offering between £1 million and £8 million each year are available. Franchisees will be expected to contribute between half and two-thirds of the finance from other sources. If you are interested, you need to submit an Advance Notice Form to the Arts Council by 16 December 1996 and a full Application Form by 28 February 1997.
FILM AND MUSIC PRODUCERS should note that new regulations relating to copyright and performers’ rights came into force on 1st December 1996. Authors (including film directors) of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works will be granted rental and lending rights. So will performers whose performances are recorded in films and sound recordings. These authors and performers may become entitled to receive equitable remuneration for the rental of their work.
INTERNET ACCESS PROVIDERS innocently carrying defamatory material may benefit from a defence under the new Defamation Act, in force as of September 1996. To take advantage of the defence, a party must be able to show that he was not the author, editor or publisher of the statement complained of. Meanwhile the EC has just published its communication on ‘Illegal and harmful content on the Internet’.
A NEW ‘LIVE CONCERT SERVICE’ has been introduced by The Performing Right Society. It enables major writer and publisher members to collect live performance royalties directly from the PRS. It also offers assistance to members with planning and performing right administration of UK and foreign tours. For a nominal charge, the service is available in the UK to major writers and publisher members whose live performances generate a performance royalty of £1,000 or more per event.
THE WORKING TIME DIRECTIVE should (but will not) be implemented by the UK Government no later than 23 November 1996. It introduces a 48-hour maximum working week and at least 3 weeks annual holiday (rising to 4 weeks in 1999). Employers will also have to introduce variety into monotonous work patterns. There are, however, many exceptions to the main rules.
THE ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION ACT 1996: From January 1997, it will be a criminal offence for an employer to employ anyone whose immigration status prevents them from taking the job in question. A company or individual guilty of an offence under the Act faces a fine of up to £5,000. Employers will be faced with a number of resulting problems, including how to amend their recruitment procedures without being racially discriminatory.
UNDER THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1996, in force from 2 December 1996, employers will have to give equal consideration to all job applicants – disabled or not. Employers and owners of premises open to the public will be required to carry out reasonable adjustments to work environments and premises to accommodate disabled people. Guidelines have been issued as to what might or might not be ‘reasonable’.