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Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

October 2012

As part of Phase One of the Digital Copyright Exchange Feasibility Study, organisations were invited to submit evidence on the claim that copyright licensing was not fit for purpose for the digital age.

The submitted responses, with the exception of confidential submissions, are listed in alphabetical order by surname or company/organisation name.

The views expressed in these submissions are those of the individuals or companies that submitted responses to the Call for Evidence and are not the views of the IPO/Government.

Richard HooperJuly 2012

Today Richard Hooper published Copyright Works: streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age PDF document(1.28Mb). This is the final report for the Feasibility Study into the Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE)

Copyright works: streamlining copyright for the digital age identifies the good work already underway to address the seven issues highlighted in the Phase 1 diagnostic report Rights and Wrong: is copyright licensing fit for purpose for the digital age.

But the report says there is no room for complacency and work remains to be done. "Streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age will remain a constant requirement of the creative and cultural industries in the UK. Like innovation or modernisation, it never has an end point."

The main recommendation from the report is the development of a Copyright Hub which will serve a number of functions including:

  • Information and copyright education
  • Registries of rights
  • A marketplace for rights - licensing solutions
  • Help with the orphan works problem

Mr Hooper said:

"If the UK is to maintain and improve its position as world leader in the creative industries then it needs an efficient and responsive copyright licensing system to manage the use of creative rights.

"Setting up an industry-led and industry-funded Copyright Hub will help maximise the potential for creators and rights owners on the supply side and the wide range of licensees and users on the demand side."

Sarah Faulder, CEO of the Publishers’ Licensing Society said:

"Richard Hooper's phase two report Copyright Works, sets out a focused and worthwhile vision of a multi-faceted copyright hub to explain and streamline the process of copyright licensing.  Making it easier to get appropriate copyright licences will benefit both rights holders and those who want to build their businesses on copyright content or otherwise be able to use copyright material lawfully.

"By recognising existing good practice, stimulating new initiatives in the course of his work and identifying issues that need urgent attention, Richard has encouraged the creative industries to collaborate and he has motivated them to take forward his vision. The scale of the task ahead in order to turn his vision into reality should not, however, be underestimated."

Nick Evans-Lombe, COO of Getty Images said:

"We are impressed by the speed and no-nonsense manner with which Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch have addressed the key impediments to speedy innovation, across what are the hugely diverse, inherently international, digital copyright markets. We welcome the way they have dug deep into the underpinning principles of copyright licensing, without losing sight of the critical importance of maintaining a strong copyright regime, which is essential to enable the creative industries to continue to flourish.

"The challenge for the imagery industry, in particular, photography, is the sheer volume of new copyright works being created every second. With every camera owner being a copyright owner, there are millions of rights holders and billions of copyright works in existence. Technology is the key, both to finding the right photo to use and then who to pay in order to use it. We believe that "every image should get its credit." This is the mantra of PicScout.com (now a Getty Images company) and we are keen to explore new opportunities around how we can help make this a reality in the digital age.

"The findings and recommendations are aligned with the innovative approach pioneered by Getty Images in the B2B content licensing sector since its inception 17 years ago. This study will help keep the UK at the front of the pack globally when it comes to providing a breeding ground for new business models that are reliant on using copyright works as raw materials, in turn channelling accretive revenues back to copyright holders.

"We are also pleased to see that the results of the study show the UK creative industries are already making strides to embrace technology to further simplify copyright licensing, which we hope will be taken into account by the Government when determining the scope of any legislative measures it introduces in the area of Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing. Acknowledging the contributions made to society by, for example, historic archives (images and video) and the vibrant stock licensing sector will help to ensure that such industries are not devalued in an attempt to solve quite separate problems."

For further information read the Phase 2 report PDF document(1.28Mb) and press notice.

March 2012

On 27 March Richard Hooper published the Phase 1 diagnostic report PDF document(954Kb) of the independent feasibility study into developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE).

Rights and Wrongs: is copyright licensing fit for purpose for the digital age? acknowledges that, relative to other countries in the world, the UK licensing processes are among the best.

But there are areas where improvements can and must be made to copyright licensing across many of the creative industries if copyright licensing is to become even more fit for purpose for the digital age.

In Phase 2 of the feasibility study Richard Hooper will focus on identifying solutions to the problems highlighted in the report.

Mr Hooper said:

"If in the second phase of the work we can find industry-led solutions to these problems, which I am confident we can, then innovation and economic growth will be further accelerated."

For more information about the study, see the Terms of Reference.

To contact Richard Hooper, please e-mail Hooper Secretariat.

Fast Facts

  • The Hargreaves Review suggested that an exchange has the potential to grow the UK economy by over £2 billion.
  • The work will be conducted in two phases:

    Diagnosis: convening/ discussing with industry partners to explore the issues affecting rights licensing and to create a clear understanding of the problems.

    Options: bringing forward appropriate industry-led solutions with a view to how these could be.