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UK Copyright Hub launches

The UK Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe has become the first public user of The Copyright Hub and the Digital Catapult’s new copyright technology at an event in London. Using a single mouse-click, the Minister was able to secure permission to use a copyrighted image provided by project partner 4Corners Images.

The event marked the first time that The Copyright Hub’s technology, a platform developed and supported by the Digital Catapult – a national centre to advance rapidly the UK’s best digital ideas to market – has gone live. The technology, which will be extended to other forms of media over the next few months, has been developed to enable creators to give permission for their work to be used both commercially and by members of the public.

Speaking at the launch, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “The Copyright Hub’s innovative use of new technology is a UK first and an important step in offering a simple process for people to seek permission to use copyright material legally. The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and grow a business and that is what the Digital Catapult is helping to do – acting as a catalyst for growth in promising markets where the UK is leading the world.”

Neil Crockett, CEO at the Digital Catapult, added: “The mission of the Digital Catapult is to support digital initiatives that create new products, services, jobs and value for the UK economy. The Copyright Hub is a brilliant example of what can be achieved and its impact on the creative economy could be massive. Not only will it take unnecessary friction out of the system wholesale, it will potentially boost productivity in every creative industry. It’s great to see the technology in action for the first time.”

Richard Hooper, Chairman of The Copyright Hub, commented: “This is a proud moment for The Copyright Hub team. The Government has supported us since the whole process began with the Hargreaves Report in 2011, and now we are beginning to see a new era for copyright put in place. Given continuing support from industry and government, this could be a world-leading initiative on a par with the creation of the web itself.”

There are now nearly 100 Copyright Hub applications planned, with 10 under active development, including photo/picture library Mary Evans and the British Film Institute (BFI). In addition, i-publishing went live with its first Hub application on July 30 and in the next few weeks Capture will have incorporated Hub services in its application, reaching many more picture libraries.

The international potential of the new technology was confirmed by the news that The Copyright Hub has agreed a new partnership with Australian licensing organisation, the Copyright Agency. As part of this agreement, The Copyright Agency will be contributing to The Copyright Hub’s core funding.

The technology is expected eventually to be rolled out in Australia across all of the content licensed by the Copyright Agency – text, images, art, and survey plans. It continues the successful international work of The Copyright Hub, which is also working in the US with the Copyright Clearance Centre and the Motion Picture Association of America and with an increasing number of other public and private partners across Europe and the world.

The Copyright Hub has also announced that it has launched a new website, www.copyrightdoneright.org to generate support for its activities. It highlights the support already received from over 45 organisations and many individuals and invites others to get involved by contributing funding, time, Hub Applications and code.

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