Excellent work here by BAPLA and particularly to Paul Brown, MD at Mary Evans, who is representing BAPLA and the stock image industry as a Member of The Copyright Hub which launches a consultation pilot this week.
The launch of the Copyright Hub is one of the outcomes of the Hargreaves Review on intellectual property and growth1, alongside various other recommendations concerning changes to copyright law. Professor Hargreaves recommended the creation of a digital copyright exchange (DCE). Richard Hooper carried out a feasibility study of the digital copyright exchange which in his final report Copyright Works2 dated July 2012 looked at a wide range of ways of making copyright licensing more fit for purpose for the digital age.
The Copyright Hub is two things. It is a web portal connected to a network of organisations from the audio-visual, publishing, music and images sectors of the creative industries (which includes DCEs that do automated licensing). It is also a forum for collaboration between the different creative sectors and their organisations.
The Copyright Hub, that is to say the web portal and its network of connected organisations, does three things:
• Help people find out about copyright and find their way through the complexities of copyright
• Be a place where rights holders can, if they so choose, register their rights information via organisations connected to the Hub, so that people can find out who owns what rights to what
• Be a place where people can get permission from rights holders to use copyrighted works legally and easily
These three functions map accurately to the three findings in the feasibility study report Copyright Works: people have difficulty finding their way through the copyright maze; it is difficult to find out who owns what rights to what; it is not always easy for potential rights users to license copyright works or elements of copyright works.
Richard Hooper, Chair of the Copyright Hub said: “We are today just dipping our toes in the water. This is a pilot from which we will learn a lot and which will allow us to build firm foundations for the future. We are not trying to do everything at once and are approaching the whole project in an organic, step by step way. We do not subscribe to the view that we should, at this stage, spend large sums of money building something in the hope that people will come. History has taught us that this does not usually work. I am most grateful to the Government for providing some early start-up funding, to Lime Digital (the contractors who built the site) for working so hard against tough deadlines, and to members of the Copyright Hub Launch Group for their constant support and counsel.”
Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger said:
“The launch today of the Copyright Hub pilot is hugely exciting. It marks the first step towards a new kind of copyright infrastructure, where technology is harnessed to make rights registration and licensing easier and quicker. This is another boost for UK growth.
• The Copyright Hub pilot has been financed by the British Government and also by matched funding from the creative industries themselves. The Copyright Hub is industry-led.
• The Copyright Hub, built and led by the UK’s music, publishing, audio-visual and images industries, will be a portal with intelligent connections to a wide range of websites, digital copyright exchanges and databases in the UK and around the world.
• The Copyright Hub aims to streamline copyright licensing for the digital age by providing a marketplace for rights both across different sectors of the creative industries and across national borders, with ease of use and low transaction costs being the key features. With easier routes to licensing, it is anticipated that creators will see a higher return for their works and the creative industries will grow.
You can find it and follow progress at www.copyrighthub.co.uk