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Steering group and office set up to work on Hooper’s copyright hub

By | Published on Wednesday 21 November 2012


Reps from the music, publishing, audio-visual and other creative industries yesterday announced a collaborative effort to enact some of the recommendations set out in the previously reported paper written by Richard Hooper on copyright licensing in the UK.

Hooper’s paper, called ‘Copyright Works’, was written following Ian Hargreaves’ government-instigated review of the British copyright system, and specifically focused on that review’s recommendation that some kind of digital copyright exchange be established, making it easier for licensees to identify and contact the owners of copyrights they may wish to license.

The industry-led Copyright Licensing Steering Group will look into how that exchange, or ‘copyright hub’ to use Hooper’s term, can be established, as well considering other issues around making the licensing system easier to navigate. The Group will be chaired by James Lancaster, former Head of Rights And Business Affairs at the BBC, who told CMU: “I am delighted to be chairing this important group which will play a significant role in making it easier for rights and works to be licensed for the benefit of all”.

Meanwhile, Hooper himself will chair a sub-committee called the Copyright Hub Launch Group specifically focused on the exchange idea, while the co-author of Hooper’s report, Ros Lynch, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Steering Group on secondment from the government’s Department For Business, Innovation And Skills at an industry-funded office, based at the London HQ of Financial Times publisher Pearson.

It’s not 100% certain how much the CLSG and its accompanying office will cost to run, though it’s thought that those costs will be met by the initiative’s industry partners, in line with Hooper’s recommendations. From the music industry side, it is collecting society PRS For Music which seems most proactively involved.

PRS boss Robert Ashcroft told CMU: “We join with others across the industry in welcoming the announcement today that James Lancaster, former Head of Rights And Business Affairs at the BBC, will chair the Copyright Licensing Steering Group and that Ros Lynch will be leading an office to spearhead the work to deliver Richard Hooper’s Copyright Works recommendations”.

He added: “We will continue, with our partners in the industry, to meet the challenges he identified, providing a better licensing environment for all. As previously stated, we believe that the Copyright Hub recommended by Hooper could place Britain at the very centre of the global, online market for the creative industries. Coupled with industry efforts for a Global Repertoire Database, it will prove to be a critical building block in what must inevitably be an international project”.