31 July 2012

Digital Copyright Exchange: Hooper's Final Report

On 5 Jan 2012 I reported the Richard Hooper had been appointed to carry out a feasibility study on a digital copyright exchange and his call for evidence (see "Copyright: Hooper Calls for Evidence" ). Richard Hooper has now published his report: Copyright works: Streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age.


In his report, he said that the creative industries had responded constructively to Professor Hargreaves's report and were busy streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age. He expected such streamlining to reinforce the lead enjoyed that the British creative industries already enjoy in the distribution of digitized content. However, more could be done and his main suggestion was

"the creation of a not-for-profit, industry led Copyright Hub based in the UK that links interoperably and scalably to the growing national and international network of private and public sector digital copyright exchanges, rights registries and other copyright-related databases, using agreed cross-sectoral and cross-border data building blocks and standards, based on voluntary, opt-in, non-exclusive and pro-competitive principles."
Such a Hub would serve both copyright owners and content users in the UK and beyond and it would have 5 main purposes.   First, acting as a signposting and navigation mechanism to the complex world of copyright. Secondly, being the place to go for copyright education.   Thirdly, being the place where any copyright owner can choose to register works, the associated rights to those works, permitted uses and licences granted.   Fourthly, being the place for potential licensees to go for easy to use, transparent, low transaction cost copyright licensing via for example digital copyright exchanges (DCEs), acting in effect as a marketplace for rights,  Fifthly, being one of the authoritative places where prospective users of orphan works6 can go to demonstrate they have done proper, reasonable and due diligent searches for the owners of those works before they digitize them.

To maintain momentum, Hooper has recommended setting up a steering group to be called the Copyright Licensing Steering Group (CLSG) with a wide mandate to ensure continuing cross-sector and where
possible cross-border coordination. The creative industries had already agreed to provide an office for that work for another year.   The report addresses a number of technical issues such as the standardization of identifiers and other data. It also describes some of the licensing and registration schemes that exist in various parts of the world,

Should anyone wish to discuss this article or Richard Hooper's final report, call me on 0800 862 0055 or contact me through Facebook, Linkedin, twitter or Xing, or through my contact page.

No comments: