UK Gets Ball Rolling On Digital Copyright Exchange

UK business secretary Vince Cable has appointed former Ofcom deputy chairman Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on establishing a Digital Copyright Exchange.

Cable recently agreed with Professor Ian Hargreaves’ suggestion, in his Review Of Intellectual Property And Growth, that a body be created that lists copyrighted works.

“This will make it easier for rights owners, small and large, to sell licences in their work and for others to buy them,” said the review, which set out to update IP legislation for the digital age. “It will make market transactions faster, more automated and cheaper. The result will be a UK market in digital copyright which is better informed and more readily capable of resolving disputes without costly litigation.”

The UK government’s Intellectual Property Office says (release): “A DCE has the potential to boost economic growth in the creative sector by lowering the costs of licensing and giving businesses and consumers easier access to copyrighted material.

“An exchange could give rights holders the ability to determine the terms on which their works can be made available for others to use. It would also allow consumers to identify rights holders quickly to secure any potential licensing or investment deals.”

Cable says: “A Digital Copyright Exchange would be a global first and could unlock significant growth potential in the creative sector benefiting consumers and businesses alike.

“This is an exciting project which could really open up the UK’s intellectual property systems. But the solutions are not straightforward and there are a number of issues that need to be worked through to establish its feasibility, so I am delighted to have someone of Richard Hooper’s stature to lead this important work.”

As well as being deputy chair of Ofcom from 2002 to 2005, Hooper had chaired the last, Labour government’s selection panel for Independently-Funded News Consortia and previously was a director at United News & Media. He is also chair of the Broadband Stakeholder Group.