If you're a british photographer of any kind (amateur or professional) you should be aware of the new Digital Economy Bill which effectively removes your automatic copyright on images you create. It will open the doors to wholesale theft of formerly copyright images through the orphan works provisions and what's worse much of the bill covering descriptions of "orphan work" or "adequate search" are not even included.

At the same time, and in a completely unrelated piece of legislation the Information Commissioner's Office is proposing changes to the Data protection Act that will make non-consentual photography of people in a public place illegal. Rather than re-hash what's already been well reported elsewhere I suggest you check some of the links included below.

Both of these issues will be implemented in a matter of only a few weeks so NOW is the time to take action. I urge all british readers to write to your MPs letting them know how you feel. Writing to your MP is really easy - check out www.theyworkforyou.com for a very simple and effective browser based way to contact them. More information on both issues is available at Copyright Action along with templates for letters to your MP and links to comment on the ICO changes. There's also a very well written article on the subject on the Online Journalism Blog and you can see the British Photographic Society's response the the Digital Economy Bill also.