[authors: John Cloke and Sophie Levett]
The UK Government has launched a new copyright hub to make it easier to access information about rights ownership and copyright licences. The pilot phase of the Copyright Hub launched on 8 July 2013 and is built and led by the UK’s creative industries – music, publishing, audio-visual and images – to support the “high volume of low monetary value transactions requiring low transaction costs in the middle and bottom segments of the copyright licensing market”. The hub is not concerned with low volume, high value transactions at the top end of the market.
The Copyright Hub is aimed at consumers and contains information on how to find out about copyright, how to get permission to use works subject to copyright and also how to protect creative work with copyright. During the pilot phase, the hub provides a simple signposting service linking to the websites of the initial suppliers (a group of stakeholders including several major collecting societies). In later phases, it is planned that the hub will include more sophisticated functionality, linking to a wide array of databases and digital copyright exchanges with the aim of enabling consumers, rights users and small businesses to deal with their own copyright issues with lower transaction costs.
The Copyright Hub is the result of a recommendation by Professor Hargreaves in his review of IP and Growth, published in May 2011, for the UK to establish an industry-led solution to improve copyright licensing. The hub is currently in phase one of three, with full functionality to register rights with links to third party registers expected to be delivered around 2015 with the completion of phase three.
You can visit the hub here.