As a follow-up to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, a government report conducted by Richard Hooper and Dr Ros Lynch has recommended the creation of a UK-based Copyright Hub.
The first phase of the Hooper review highlighted the need for easier and cheaper copyright licensing and the latest second stage report has recommended a not-for-profit, industry-led and funded UK Copyright Hub, including a Copyright Registry. The Hub will focus on high-volume, low-value transactions, will operate on a voluntary, opt-in, non-exclusive basis and will have the following purposes:
- A register of works, associated rights and licences;
- A digital copyright exchange, which will provide a market place for the simple licensing of copyright works. This will be an automated web-based computer system allowing licensees to pay for rights online within the normal e-commerce framework;
- A due diligence site allowing users to demonstrate that they have performed reasonable searches on orphan works before digitising them;
- An educational and navigational portal, which will direct companies to informative websites.
Reaction to this report has been positive if rather cautious. Many recognise that these are all positive objectives but also appreciate that they will not be easily achieved.