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Hargreaves Report Welcomed By 7digital

David Gilbert


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Professor Ian Hargreaves’ report, published yesterday, made 10 recommendations to free-up restrictive intellectual property and copyright laws, and today one music downloading service has welcomed the recommendations.

Archaic copyright laws were among the main issues raised by the Hargreaves report saying they are holding back businesses aiming to take advantage of opportunities in areas such as the internet. "Could it be true that laws designed more than three centuries ago, with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators' rights, are today obstructing innovation and economic growth?" said Hargreaves. "The short answer is: yes." The recommendations include the formation of a Digital Copyright Exchange by the end of 2012 to act as a "one-stop shop" to make it easier to get clearance for the use of copyrighted content.

Hargreaves Report

The Digital Copyright Exchange will make it easier for rights owners to sell licences for their work and for others to buy them. "It will make market transactions faster, more automated and cheaper," the report said. Another major recommendation will be getting rid of the law making it illegal to download a CD on to an MP3 player, known as "format shifting."

Speaking to us following the publication of the report Ben Drury, CEO of 7digital, said: “7digital welcomes the conclusions of the Hargreaves report and the liberalising of UK copyright law. In particular, we welcome the recognition that "format shifting" should be legal and bringing UK copyright law in line with the rest of Europe will open up the market and promote innovation. Having outdated laws is a hindrance to companies that aim to develop new products and services for consumers of digital music and content, which in turn slows the adoption of digital and damages the music and content industries as a whole.”

Labour today called for the government to “stop dithering” and move quickly to liberalise the copyright laws in the UK. The changes in the law could mean major changes for related businesses with Hargreaves estimating a possible growth of between 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent in the GDP as a result of the recommendations being implemented.


May 18, 2011, 10:41 pm

Format shifting... So we legalise something which everyone has been happily doing for years, and not even the most litigious company thought of prosecuting anyway. This is the equivalent of repealing one of those obscure laws regarding where you can park your oxen... a formality, nothing more. As for the Digital Copyright Exchange, this is an improvement but still a half-assed measure. As usual, we in the UK muddle through timidly on technological matters and somehow consider it progress...


May 19, 2011, 3:28 pm

Abit of a cheek for Labour to tell them to "stop dithering" then they put in half the legislation, as well as the stupid "Digital Economy Act"


May 22, 2011, 4:03 am

Netflix proves that if there is a legal way to download then they shall ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13439641 ):

"Movie and TV streaming site Netflix is now the single biggest source of internet traffic in the US, according to research.

"The data, gathered by network monitoring firm Sandvine, showed that in March the site accounted for 29.7% of downstream traffic at peak times.

"That is more than web browsing and peer-to-peer file sharing."

Unfortunately it is restricted to the US customers! Guess what some non-US customers will be doing?

I hope RIAA and others like BPI take note. As if iTunes and similar services hadn't shown it already.

>>>> UK music download sales hit £1bn - BPI figures reveal total digital spending by fans since 2004, with Adele's 21 the biggest-selling album ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/12/uk-music-download-sales?commentpage=last#end-of-comments )


May 22, 2011, 9:38 pm

Professor Ian Hargreaves ( http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/contactsandpeople/profiles/hargreaves-ian.html ) approach and views are NOT surprising given that he has applied intellectual rigour as expected of an academic. However TR here's the bit that you should have mentioned:

"Then there's Hargreaves's proposal that, in future, British lawmaking on intellectual property should be "evidence-based". As opposed to what, asks the legal scholar James Boyle: "Astrology-based?" But our lawmaking in this area has been so weird that the idea that we might try rationality for a change seems genuinely radical."

I think the same should be applied to ALL Law making etc. Like the NHS reforms!!!!

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