Charles Clark Memorial Lecture

Although Charles Clark was a staunch defender of copyright and the need to protect publishers’ investment in creative works, he understood that copyright has historically been a compromise, between exclusive rights on the one hand and reasonable access on the other.

Charles Clark’s obituarist in The Independent, 12 October 2006 


Charles Clark Lecture 2016

The 2016 lecture will be given by Professor Michael Fraser, Professor of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney. The lecture will be introduced by Diane Spivey, Group Contracts Director at Hachette UK. Chairing the lecture will be Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association. 

Title: ‘What are publishers for?’ 

Discusses the commercial and cultural challenges to publishers’ business models and attacks on the role of the publisher, it explores ways publishers might use copyright as the basis for their response.


About Michael Fraser: Michael Fraser was a founder and CEO of Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) for 21 years and a founding director of Australian, foreign and international copyright management organisations. He is currently Chairman of the Australian Copyright Council, Chairman of the Stolen Generations Testimonies Foundation and Director of the Dictionary of Sydney Trust.

About Diane Spivey: Diane Spivey began her publishing career as a contracts assistant at Hutchinson. After working for over thirty years as a Rights and Contracts Director for companies including Little, Brown; Simon & Schuster UK; and Hodder & Stoughton, in 2014 she became Group Contracts Director for Hatchette UK. She is also a regular lecturer on Selling Rights, and a contributor to Clark's Publishing Agreements. 

About Stephen Lotinga: Stephen Lotinga is currently Chief Executive of the Publishers Association. His career spans the private and public sectors, including a recent government position as Director of Communications to the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP. Previously, Stephen has worked as Executive Director of External Affairs and Strategy at PHSO, Managing Director at Edelman, and Managing Director and Partner at Bell Pottinger. 


View the invitation here



The Charles Clark Memorial Lecture is an annual event hosted by The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), The Federation of European Publishers (FEP), The Publishers Association (PA) and The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) at London Book Fair.  

The lecture aims to address the compromise between exclusive rights and reasonable access and brings together leading authorities on copyright; rights managers; authors; visual artists and anybody serious about the future of copyright in the content business.


Past speakers include: Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer, US Patent and Trademark Office; Richard Hooper CBE, Author of 'Copyright Works' and lead on the Government's Copyright Hub;  Maria Martin-Pratt, Head of Copyright, European Commission; Dr Francis Gurry, Director General, UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); Mary Beth Peters, Registrar of Copyright, USA; Jukka Liedes, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Copyright, WIPO.




2014 Charles Clark Lecture - 'Making Copyright Work for a Global Market: Copyright Revision on Both Sides of the Atlantic'

Charles Clark Lecture 2014


The 2014 lecture was given by Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Director of International Affairs at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A record audience of 180 listened to her compare the issues involved in the pending copyright revision processes in the EU and in the US, discussing the nature of and reasons for the similarities and differences.  

A transcript of the lecture will be  made available shortly.

See a photo album here.  


2013 Charles Clark Lecture - 'Copyright Licensing: Fit for purpose in a digital age'



 Richard Hooper CBE delivers his lecture, "Copyright licensing: Fit for purpose in the digital age"


Richard Hooper CBE, Author of "Copyright Works" and lead on the Copyright Hub, argued that the publishing industry, alongside colleagues in other creative sectors, can significantly reduce the pressures on Government to make what they consider unwelcome changes to the law and unwelcome inroads into their commercial rights by ensuring that their copyright licensing processes and organisations are truly fit for purpose for the digital age. 

Download press release here

Download full transcript here 

See photo album here 


2012 Charles Clark Lecture - 'Copyright at the Crossroads: Who will control content distribution in a digital world?'

Maria Martin-Prat, Head of Copyright, The European Commission offered her thoughts on the following issues:

  • How can creators reconcile the tension between making their work available and the right to object to it, or be paid for it?
  • Are these rights best managed individually or collectively?
  • What balance should be struck between public policy and business models when creating limitations and exceptions to copyright?
  • How might changes to limitations and exceptions alter the role of the creator in the digital future?

2011 Charles Clark Lecture - 'Copyright in the Digital Age: Balancing publisher and creator income with access for the public good'

Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), addressed the way in which digital technology and the internet have changed the relationship between content providers and their audiences. Generally we are seeing “low-value, high-volume replacing high-value, low-volume,” he said, and a “society-wide, large-scale experiment on how to engage with audiences.”

Underlying these changes, he observed, is the central question of copyright: “How can we ensure that content is available on the most widespread possible basis, to the community, while at the same time ensuring that by extracting some value from cultural transactions, we enable creators and their business associates to lead a dignified economic existence? 

Watch video clips from Francis Gurry's lecture here 

Clip 1: "Copyright is a system of balances" (2:38)

Clip 2: "We need a system of global licensing" (2:14)

Clip 3: Calling for Simplicity in Copyright (1:58)


A video of the Full Lecture (32 mins) can be viewed here 


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