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Digital Opportunity

19 May 2011

Digital opportunity

Professor Ian Hargreaves’ review of Intellectual Property and Growth, entitled ‘Digital Opportunity’, has reported to the Government.

The independent review of how the Intellectual Property (IP) framework supports growth and innovation was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2010.

Currently chair in Digital Economy at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and also Cardiff Business School, Professor Hargreaves chaired the review and was assisted by a panel of experts.

The report’s executive summary states IP’s importance for growth, where for the last ten years investment by UK business in intangible assets outstripped investment in tangible assets.

In 2008 the difference was £137 billion to £104 billion, with global trade in IP licences worth more than £600 billion a year: five per cent of world trade and rising.

The review set out ten recommendations to Government designed to ensure that the UK has an IP framework best suited to supporting innovation and promoting economic growth in the digital age.

They include the delivery of copyright exceptions at a national level for format-shifting (copying a CD to a mobile music device), parody, non-commercial research and library archiving.

Ian HARGREAVES WEBProfessor Ian Hargreaves

The report also outlines the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange to boost UK firms’ access to transparent, contestable and global digital markets. The Exchange would also be used to resolve issues surrounding the use of so called orphan works.

Asked about the Government's reaction to the review Professor Hargreaves said: "Responses to the review have been pouring in thick and fast. Ministers across Government have expressed their support for the thinking in the review and there has been strong support from bodies like the British Library and the UK Research Councils for its key recommendations.

"Creative industry business leaders have also made a number of positive comments, though everyone recognises that the issues raised in the review touch on strong and competing interests and perceptions. The Government is expected to make a detailed response to the review before the end of June."

Read the full report ‘Digital Opportunity’ here.

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