The government has accepted all 10 recommendations around Intellectual Property (IP) and copyright in the Hargreaves Report, surprising the IT industry.
Chancellor George Osborne, business secretary Vince Cable and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said in joint statement that British businesses invest more “in intangible assets than physical ones, and nearly half of that intangible investment – £65 billion in 2008 – was in intellectual property”.
With IP’s effects on the economy and culture, they said, the government would strive to make it “easier to use IP to create value across the economy and across our society, in ways that are fair to everyone, while continuing to deter the infringements of IP that threaten its value”.
In May, Professor Ian Hargreaves released his report ‘Digital Opportunity: an Independent Review of IP and Growth’, which sought to improve the legal, business and economic IP frameworks.
The government this week gave its “broad acceptance” of the recommendations and said it would “create the best conditions to encourage innovation and growth”.
The government said it accepted the statements that IP was vital to the country’s growth, and that the IP framework needed to be updated. It also vowed to use better, transparent research to inform policy.
It also vowed to assist the creation of a digital copyright exchange, aimed at facilitating licensing and helping creative industries to grow, as well as to create a legislative framework that was “future proof” and helped SMEs to participate. It will also modernise the patenting and design frameworks.
As widely reported, it also moved to allow home copying of copyrighted files for personal use – effectively allowing people to legally copy their CD collections to their iPods. Effective IP enforcement in other areas would be supported by education and proper benchmarking, it said.
The government expects to publish a White Paper in the spring, setting out its exact plans following consultation with stakeholders.