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This week has seen the publication of the Hargreaves, ‘Digital Opportunity’ Report, commissioned by the Prime Minister to review and suggest changes to the current laws regulating and protecting copyright in the UK.

The purpose behind the Report was to ascertain whether the current legal framework is capable of supporting growth and innovation and to recommend changes to ensure that it does this. Its conclusions suggested that this was not the case and that at present the law impedes new internet based businesses by overly restricting the publication of copyrighted material.

The Report therefore sets out various recommendations designed to make it easier for businesses to exploit copyrighted material whilst still protecting the rights of copyright owners. The main method put forward to achieve this is through the increased use of licensing. Other recommendations are to increase the copyright exceptions to make it legal to transfer and copy legally purchased copyrighted music or videos from one media format to another, to extend the non-commercial research exception to all forms of copyright work; to extend the exception for archiving; and to create new exceptions for the use of copyrighted materials in parody and pastiche.

The Report also considers how the system for patent and design protection can be improved and how the intellectual property protection and exploitation regime can be made more accessible to small businesses.

It now rests with the Government to decide how best to implement the recommendations in the Report into law. This may well prove to be a difficult task especially as UK copyright and intellectual Property law is intrinsically connected with European and international law.


Written by Andrew Hodges

May 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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