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Intellectual property overhaul set to boost UK plc

03 Aug 2011 3:28 BST Back
Intellectual property overhaul set to boost UK plc

Also in the news

The Government has announced plans to boost economic growth by modernising UK intellectual property laws. 

Ministers have broadly accepted all the recommendations in Ian Hargreave’s Review, an independent review of UK intellectual property law.

The review predicts that one recommendation alone – the introduction of a Digital Copyright Exchange, a digital marketplace where licences in copyright content can be bought and sold – could generate as much as £2 billion a year. 

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “Opening up intellectual property laws can deliver real value to the UK economy as well as the creators and consumers.”

“It will allow innovative businesses to develop new products and service which will be able to compete fairly in the UK’s thriving markets for consumer equipment.”

Another proposed copyright exception, of particular benefit to UK production companies, is one that allows performing artists, such as comedians, to parody someone else’s work without seeking permission from the copyright holder. 

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We need a copyright system fit for the digital age. Creating these new exception to copyright will enable innovators to develop new products and services.” 

However, Vaizey stresses that this does not signal a carte blanche for whoever wants to copy creative work. 

“The UK’s creative industries are a key part of our economy but online copyright infringement poses a real threat to their continued success. Our creative industries must be able to protect their products and the Digital Economy Act will help them do that.”

If the reforms go ahead, one of the most visible changes for consumers is the right to copy CDs they have purchased to their computers and digital music players such as iPods. Under existing law it is a criminal offence to move creative content from one place to another. 

Posted by 

Nicola Carpenter

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