Industry should lead on new ‘Copyright Hub’

The report, ‘Copyright works’, was Richard Hooper’s final report on the feasibility of developing a Digital Copyright Exchange. The report’s two key recommendations are for the creation of a not-for-profit industry-led, industry-funded Copyright Hub, and the establishment of a steering group to drive forward and oversee the design and implementation of the Hub.

The Copyright Hub will have five main purposes, to:

  • act as a signpost and be a navigation mechanism to the complex world of copyright
  • be the place to go for copyright education
  • be the place where any copyright owner can choose to register works, the associated rights to those works, permitted uses and licences granted
  • be the place for potential licensees to go for easy to use, transparent, low transaction cost copyright licensing
  • be one of the authoritative places where prospective users of orphan works can go to demonstrate they have done proper, reasonable and due diligence searches for the owners of those works before they digitise them

Richard 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 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.

“Creating a single marketplace for copyright licensing would not only reduce the costs of licensing and simplify a complex system that can be difficult to navigate but would also bring together key players to have a more effective exchange and use of rights. This will only help boost economic growth, ensuring that both the industry and consumers are making the most of the UK’s creativity.”

Welcoming the report, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The idea of a ‘copyright hub’ is an ambitious undertaking and one that could clearly yield great benefits for the UK’s creative industries and consumers. It is potentially a ground-breaking step forward that will help make copyright licensing fit for 21st century.

“Richard Hooper has put forward a detailed and thoughtful report, with recommendations for industry and the Government. We will support the further work he recommends and, working alongside the industry, look forward to building the long term consensus to deliver this vision.”

The recommendation to facilitate an industry-led Digital Copyright Exchange came from Professor Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property and growth, published in May 2011. Business Secretary, Vince Cable, asked Richard Hooper to undertake a detailed analysis of whether and how such an idea might work.