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Hooper to lead Digital Copyright Exchange study

November 22, 2011

Business Secretary Vince Cable has confirmed the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) in the UK.

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. The recommendation to create a DCE was put forward by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his report; Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. The review suggested that an exchange has the potential to grow the UK economy by over £2 billion.

Vince Cable commented: “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.”

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.

Hooper added: “There are people all across the creative sector trying to develop ways of licensing works using new digital technologies. We need to bring that enthusiasm and talent together to create a universal system that benefits everyone. This work is about helping the industry to do more, to do it quicker and grow the economy.”

“My work will be in two distinct phases. First I want to talk to people across and outside the sector to find out how they see the licensing challenges facing them. As part of that process, I’ll be looking to meet the key players and to provide opportunities for all those interested to air their views. We will then be able to forge some common understanding so that I can look to produce appropriate industry-led solutions which respond to the spirit of Hargreaves’ vision.”

Hooper has held many media roles going back to his stewardship of Superchannel in the 1980s.

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