Hargreaves Review: latest news

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has held its final evidence session on the Hargreaves Review on the 15 November with Baroness Wilcox, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The evidence session outlining the benefit of a practical presentation on how the Digital Copyright Exchange is to work is available at the bottom of this helpful summary by Coadec. As this was a short inquiry, the BIS Com will publish a short report.

The final consultation on implementing the Hargreaves Review is most likely to be published in mid-December, which is very much welcomed by the SCA. The consultation will have a three months response time, with a deadline expected to  be in mid March. It is expected that this will ask for more evidence and suggestions on how to implement the new exceptions into law.

More recently, the IPO and the Ministry of Justice have announced the implementation of a small claims track to the Patents County Court (soon to be renamed the IP County Court). This recommendation was first made by the Jackson Review, and re-affirmed by Hargreaves. It is excepted that following a final consultation on the details the small claims track will be implemented early next year. The background is that IP disputes currently can only be dealt with through “multi-track”, according to the Civil Procedure Rules. Multi-track is most appropriate for commercial disputes with a value of over 25k. The small claims track will be designed to deal with IP disputes of a value up to k5. The idea is that it will provide small and medium sized businesses, as well as individual copyright owners, such as photographers, with better and affordable access to justice. See http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/hargreaves.htm

And, last but not least, the IPO has announced the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study. The Digital Copyright Exchange being one of the more high profile recommendations of Hargreaves. This study will be undertaken over the coming 6 months, Richard Hooper saying:

“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.”

For more info see http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/press/press-release/press-release-2011/press-release-20111122.htm