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Hargreaves Review recommends strategic shift for the digital age

19 May 2011

A review of the UK’s intellectual property framework has urged that IP laws should be changed to promote economic growth and adapt to internet-based businesses.

Some key suggestions include:

  • establishing a digital copyright exchange, enabling automated licensing
  • allowing licensing of ‘orphan’ works (with no identifiable author)
  • incorporating into UK law a number of copyright ‘exceptions’ including for, private copying/‘formatshifting’ (e.g. from CD to mp3 player), parody and non-commercial research for all copyright works
  • protecting exceptions from being overridden in contracts
  • introducing a small claims track in the Patents County Court

In reality, many of the ‘exceptions’ proposed simply reflect what the public expects in the internet age, by removing the confusion caused by rights which it is impossible or impractical to enforce. However, rights holders will be pleased to note that calls for a broader ‘fair use’ defence were rejected.

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