By Max Clarke

Intellectual property (IP) reforms must encourage investment in ideas and content if they are to boost growth, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said today (Thursday).

In reaction to the Government’s response to the Hargreaves Review, Matthew Fell, CBI Director of Competitive Markets, said there must still be a focus on growth.

“An effective intellectual property regime is essential for driving growth in modern economies," he said.

“While these proposals help bring IP law up to date with modern day realities, driven by rapidly evolving technologies, some risk undermining investment in content.

“The creation of a voluntary Digital Copyright Exchange will give content creators control over how their material is used and sold.

“Businesses also accept that format shifting for individual use, for instance allowing people to upload their CDs onto an MP3 player, reflects modern consumer behaviour. However, plans for widespread copyright exemptions will undermine existing commercial models.

“While we accept that some patent thickets can present barriers to innovation and growth, the Government must avoid action that will undermine genuine patent clusters.”

On the proposals for the implementation of the Digital Economy Act, he said:

“It is essential that the proposals work for both Internet Service Providers and content owners. The Government must continue to send a strong signal that piracy is illegal because without firm action to tackle it, the UK’s creative industries will be undermined.”

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