Digital Copyright Exchange- call for evidence

What is the Digital Copyright Exchange?

The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth recommended that:

“In order to boost UK firms’ access to transparent, contestable and global digital markets, the UK should establish a cross sectoral Digital Copyright Exchange… A range of incentives and disincentives will be needed to encourage rights holders and others to take part. Governance should reflect the interests of participants, working to an agreed code of practice.”

In its Response, the Government has stated that it wants to see a DCE, or something like it, to speed up copyright licensing and thus enable new business opportunities.

Brief History

  • April 2010 – The Digital Economy Act receives Royal Assent.
  • November 2010 – Prime Minister David Cameron announces an independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation.
  • May 2011 – Professor Ian Hargreaves published his Independent review of IP & growth including 10 recommendations. One of which is for the creation of the world’s first Digital Copyright Exchange.
  • August 2011 – The Government publishes its response to the Hargreaves review which accepts all ten of Professor Hargreaves’ recommendations. The Government’s goal is to have measures in place by the end of this Parliament
  • November 2011 – Richard Hooper is appointed by the Government to conduct a feasibility study on implementing a Digital Copyright Exchange in the UK. The purpose of the exchange, which was first proposed in the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth last May, would be to allow content users to license copyrighted material from rights-holders simply and transparently through an online platform.

What are the benefits of the Digital Copyright Exchange?

It is hoped that this will make it easier for rights owners, small and large, to sell licences in their work and for others to buy them. It will make market transactions faster, more automated and cheaper. The result will be a UK market in digital copyright which is better informed and more readily capable of resolving disputes without costly litigation.

How will the Digital Copyright Exchange be implemented?

Richard Hooper has been tasked with conducting a feasibility study on implementing a DCE. The study will be done in two phases. Phase 1 is diagnostic, looking at what are the issues surrounding copyright licensing in and for the digital age. Phase 2 will examine and recommend the range of potential solutions to any issues found.

The study is currently in phase 1. Richard is meeting with a range of stakeholders interested in the Digital Copyright Exchange idea, and he has put together a number of events where he can talk specifically to digital startups who act (or are trying to act) as content licensees.

Essential to the process are detailed, productive and candid discussions about the issues startups currently face in licensing matters and how a digital exchange could help address those.

Where can I find the Call for Evidence? 

The Call for Evidence document available on the IPO website.