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Reviewed 4 January 2012

Richard Hooper calls for evidence on copyright licensing

Richard Hooper today issued a call for evidence as part of the independent feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) in the UK.

The independent study is being carried out in two parts. Phase one is looking at all of the issues highlighted in the Hargreaves Review surrounding copyright licensing in and for the digital age in further detail. This includes setting out clear definitions of the roles played by creators, businesses, rights management organisations and consumers.

The second phase will examine and recommend solutions to the issues raised. The digital copyright exchange is considered to be a strong potential solution by some stakeholders.

Hooper, who is leading the feasibility study, today wrote to stakeholders within the creative industries, inviting them to respond to a call for evidence which asks two questions:

  • First, whether they agree with the 'Hargreaves Hypothesis' - that the current copyright licensing system is not fit for purpose for the digital age;
  • Secondly whether they agree with his proposed definitions, including the market definition.

Richard Hooper said:

"This is a controversial issue with strongly held opinions across the spectrum – we are seeking hard data and evidence for or against the main, or parts of the, hypothesis.

"The responses I receive will help to inform my thinking as I move to develop a concept for workable licensing solutions to problems identified."

Intellectual Property Minister, Baroness Wilcox said:

"I would urge all interested parties to respond fully to this call for evidence. We need this feedback if we are to be in the best position to decide whether a Digital Copyright Exchange is a workable proposition."

Notes to editors

  • Richard Hooper was appointed by Business Secretary Vince Cable to lead an Independent Feasibility Study into a Digital Copyright Exchange on 22 November. See IPO Press release for more details.
  • The study is independent but is based at the Intellectual Property Office. Richard Hooper will report his findings to Government before the 2012 summer Parliamentary Recess. The Terms of Reference for the study are available on the IPO website.
  • The deadline for submissions to the Call for Evidence is Friday 10 February.
  • A DCE has the potential to boost economic growth in the creative sector by lowering the costs of licensing and giving businesses and individuals easier access to copyrighted material. The recommendation to create a DCE was put forward by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his report; Digital Opportunity: a Review of Intellectual Property and Growth PDF document(1.38Mb), which suggested that an exchange has the potential to grow the UK economy by over £2 billion.
  • The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, and the Government's response is available on the IPO website.
  • The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  • Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.
  • For further information please email HooperSecretariat@ipo.gov.uk.

Date of release: 4 January 2012