10 February 2012
The Publishers Association (PA) has today called for the development of a new online platform that would act as a “one stop shop” for the exchange of information about how to license copyright works online. Such a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) would counteract the need for dangerous changes to copyright law proposed by government in a parallel consultation, the PA argues.
The PA’s calls come in its submission to the feasibility study into the DCE, being conducted by Richard Hooper and closing today (10th February). The DCE study follows from recommendations in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, published in May of last year.
In supporting the development of the DCE, The PA urges government to suspend progress of the parallel Copyright Consultation launched by the Intellectual Property Office late last year, which recommends drastically weakening copyright. The PA maintains that many of the consultation’s proposals would remove or undermine the ability of rightsholders to develop licensing business models, and go against the grain of the market-based voluntary arrangements proposed in the DCE.
The PA makes the case for a DCE as a fully voluntary, interoperable platform, for use by businesses and the public, which could allow rights to be licensed more efficiently and openly. Its submission makes clear that the DCE would not be a place to set prices or terms, but rather to put potential users in touch with the rightsholders in a work, in all forms of content.
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the PA commented:
“We made the case for the creation of the Digital Copyright Exchange to the Hargreaves Review last year. We believe this portal could be highly successful, but only if it remains as a platform where licences can be negotiated, and not where prices or terms are imposed.
“Participation in the DCE must be voluntary and should be openly accessible to all, particularly consumers. The Digital Copyright Exchange should therefore reflect the way that copyright operates currently, with creators and rightsholders retaining control over how their works will be used, whilst ensuring that users can get the permissions they want.”
“With the creation of the Digital Copyright Exchange, we believe that the legislative changes – which are predicated on highly questionable research – proposed in the Intellectual Property Office’s Copyright Consultation would be unnecessary. The Digital Copyright Exchange is the only credible option to improve licensing of intellectual property and will ensure that the creative industries remain a source of growth in the economy.”
Notes to Editors
The Publishers Association
The Publishers Association (PA) is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership is comprised of 117 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors. Its core service is representation and lobbying, around copyright, rights and other matters relevant to members, who represent roughly 80% of the industry by turnover. www.publishers.org.uk
The Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study
On 22 November 2011 Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange in the UK. Evidence to the feasibility study must be submitted by 10th February 2012. Further details can be found below:
The Copyright Consultation
The Consultation on Proposals to Change the UK’s Copyright System was launched by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on 14th December 2011. Proposals in the consultation are based on recommendations in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, with added proposals from the IPO. The consultation will close on 21st March 2012. Further details can be found below:
The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property
The Hargreaves Review was announced by the Prime Minister in November of 2010 to assess the UK’s copyright laws as a means of enhancing growth and innovation. Professor Ian Hargreaves led the Review and reported his findings in May 2011. The Digital Copyright Exchange and Copyright Consultation follow on from the Hargreaves Review. Further details can be found below: