By Daniel Hunter
£150,000 of funding to create a one-stop-shop web site designed to make it easier for consumers to get information about rights ownership and copyright licences, was announced today (Monday) by Intellectual Property (IP) Minister, Lord Younger.
Professor Hargreaves, in his review of IP and Growth in May 2011, recommended that the UK should establish an industry-led solution to improve copyright licensing. He estimated that it could add up to £2.2 billion a year to the UK economy by 2020, with a particular benefit to the creative industries.
The Hub, which will be designed and built by industry, will act as a source of information about rights ownership to support open and competitive markets for copyright licences. This will cut costs for businesses by creating a more efficient online market place where those looking to use copyright works in new creations or services, for example a company providing a multimedia service for a wedding, will have access to a greater range of licensing options, through the Hub, in a straightforward online transaction.
"The Copyright Hub will simplify copyright licensing for consumers and I am delighted to announce this funding to enable industry to begin their work," Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger said.
"Databases of copyright works such as those held by collecting societies and publishers, and designs such as the Register of Designs at the IPO already exist. However, government has listened to concerns that consumers are unsure who they should go to if they are looking for information about obtaining a licence, particularly if multiple rights are involved.
"The funding announced today will help industry to start building the Hub website sooner and engage with schools and Further Education colleges to help streamline educational licensing. Above all, it chimes with government’s aim to provide a further portal to assist businesses to grow faster and to boost our creative industries."
Richard Hooper, Director of Copyright Hub Ltd said: "The Copyright Hub, linking to a wide array of databases and digital copyright exchanges, has the clear aim of helping consumers, rights users and small businesses find their way through the complexity of copyright and thus allow them to license copyrighted works much more easily and at a lower transaction cost.
"The Copyright Hub until today has been just an idea. Today it begins to become an exciting reality. We are especially grateful for the speed with which the Department of Business/IPO provided some start-up funding thus giving a real boost to this whole idea that emanated from the Hargreaves Review."
Kevin Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, Copyright Licensing Agency said: "CLA are keen supporters of the Copyright Hub because it will simplify access to copyright works, benefiting both consumers and creators. And that will have a positive economic impact on the whole UK economy."
Jo Dipple, UK Music Chief Executive Officer said: "The copyright hub is very welcome and it is something the music industry has enthusiastically embraced as we try to push for further growth in the global digital marketplace. I’ve recently been at SXSW in Texas and witnessed first hand the hunger and appetite for the music made by British artists and bands and the potential for its growth, which the hub can only help to serve.
"With this new funding the project has been given a real kickstart and it also demonstrates a further, very welcome commitment from the government, whose continued support - in partnership with our industry - is needed to underpin the hub’s success."
The Copyright Hub will be a website bringing together existing databases and services to make a new marketplace. This should lower the administration cost of many licensing transactions, and provide new opportunities for creators and users of works.
Join us on