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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 Having outdated laws is a hindrance to companies that aim to develop new products and services for consumers of digital music and content, which in turn slows the adoption of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.

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