The creative industries need to play a key role in leading and funding the Copyright Hub, a marketplace for rights to streamline copyright licensing and make transactions easier for creators, rights holders and users, according to an independent report released by Richard Hooper. Hooper was appointed by the Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable to lead an independent feasibility study on creating a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) on 22 November 2011.
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:
Hooper said that if the UK was 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,” he suggested.
“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,” he concluded.
Cable said the idea of a ‘copyright hub’ was 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,” he confirmed.
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.