Evidence Sought For UK Study On Digital Copyright Exchange

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A “call for evidence” has been issued for an independent feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange in the United Kingdom. Members of the “creative industries” are being asked to respond to the assertion made in a preceding study by Professor Ian Hargreaves that the current copyright licensing system is not fit for the digital age, as well as to definitions used by Hargreaves.

The independent study being conducted by Richard Hooper, based at the UK Intellectual Property Office. According to a news release from Hooper: “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, he said, “will examine and recommend solutions to the issues raised. The digital copyright exchange is considered to be a strong potential solution by some stakeholders.”

Evidence is due by 10 February. The report is expected to be presented in summer 2012.

Hooper was appointed in November.

The Hargreaves report is here.

“This is a controversial issue with strongly held opinions across the spectrum,” Hooper said in the press release. “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,” he said.

Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox urged “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.”

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