Museums and Galleries: Copyright

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Freyberg Lord Freyberg Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 12 November (HL11086), which stated that "Complaints about charges for re-use by museums and galleries may be referred to the Information Commissioner for a binding decision”, whether this is consistent with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s Guide to RPSI, which states that it “can issue a decision notice, unless the complaint concerns charges above marginal cost, in which case we make a non-binding recommendation”, and the ICO’s Decision Notice FS50619465 of 4 April 2017, which states that it can “only make recommendations in respect of any charges levied under the RPSI.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Information Commissioner’s (ICO) guidance summarises the general issue of charging for re-use, but does not go into specific details beyond this.

Regulation 19 of RPSI states that in the case of bodies subject to regulations 15 (3) (a) or (b), complaints about re-use charges are subject to recommendation only by the Information Commissioner and appeals against recommendations can lead to a binding decision at tribunal.

Museums and galleries’ charging falls under regulation 15 (3) (c), meaning that the usual redress route of a binding decision by the Information Commissioner applies.

The ICO have confirmed they will be updating their guidance to make this clear.

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