In November 2010 the Prime Minister David Cameron announced an independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation. Chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves and assisted by a panel of experts, the review reported to Government in May 2011.
The Review makes 10 recommendations designed to ensure that the UK has an IP framework best suited to supporting innovation and promoting economic growth in the digital age:
Key recommendations (from BIS press release)
- The UK should have a “Digital Copyright Exchange”: a digital market place where licences in copyright content can be readily bought and sold, a sort of online copyright shop.
- The Government should legislate to permit access to orphan works, where the owner cannot be traced. For example some copyrighted works remain locked away because their authors either aren’t known or can’t be traced to give permission for use. In the worst cases, where one owner cannot be located - just one out of hundreds contained in a film or TV programme - they can effectively hold the interests of others to ransom as it becomes a criminal offence to exploit that work commercially.
- Updating what it is lawful to copy. This includes copying for private purposes (such as shifting music from a laptop to an mp3 player) and copying which does not conflict with the core aims of copyright – for example, digital copying of medical and other journals for computerised analysis in research. For example an academic working on malaria cannot draw on previous research through data mining because they cannot get permission to copy the datasets they need to mine.
- The Government’s IP policy decisions need to be more closely based on economic evidence and should pay more attention to the impact on non-rights holders and consumers;
- Changes to the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) powers to enable it to help the IP framework adapt to future economic and technological change
Click here to read the full report