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Sunday, 22nd May 2011

UK: Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (The Hargreaves Report)

Source: Intellectual Property Office (UK)

From Press Release:

Changes to Intellectual Property systems could add up to £7.9 billion to the UK’s economy, the first report looking at how it can drive growth said today.The publication of Digital Opportunity follows a six-month independent review of IP and Growth, led by Professor Ian Hargreaves. He was asked to consider how the national and international IP system can best work to promote innovation and growth.His recommendations aim to give the UK a competitive advantage – and put it on a par with international competitors. Taken together, they have the potential to add up to 0.6 per cent to annual GDP and to cut the costs of doing business with IP-related business by £750m within a decade.


The key recommendations are:

the UK should have a "Digital Copyright Exchange": a digital market place where licences in copyright content can be readily bought and sold, a sort of online copyright shop.

the Government should legislate to permit access to orphan works, where the owner cannot be traced. For example some copyrighted works remain locked away because their authors either aren’t known or can’t be traced to give permission for use. In the worst cases, where one owner cannot be located - just one out of hundreds contained in a film or TV programme - they can effectively hold the interests of others to ransom as it becomes a criminal offence to exploit that work commercially. updating what it is lawful to copy. This includes copying for private purposes (such as shifting music from a laptop to an mp3 player) and copying which does not conflict with the core aims of copyright – for example, digital copying of medical and other journals for computerised analysis in research. For example an academic working on malaria cannot draw on previous research through data mining because they cannot get permission to copy the datasets they need to mine.

the Government’s IP policy decisions need to be more closely based on economic evidence and should pay more attention to the impact on non-rights holders and consumers;

changes to the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) powers to enable it to help the IP framework adapt to future economic and technological change.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 1.4 MB)

+ Press release


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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