The IPO chose Office Party Friday last week to unveil 15 more proposals on intellectual property reform. This is traditionally the most alcoholic workday of the year – and ministers might need another stiff drink as they digest the surprises that ideologically fanatical bureaucrats have been preparing for them.
Among the proposals is the suggestion to make copyright opt-in, which means the UK will be breaching European and international law, and the strange notion that parody and satire are illegal in the UK. Traditionally the civil service is not supposed to set policy, but carry it out. The advice they give ministers is expected to be dispassionate and weighted. But this is the Intellectual Property Office. It’s carjacked the policy bus and is driving it at the UK’s creative industries, freelance sectors and creative amateurs too. These fifteen documents fully reveal the IPO’s hand.