I was really heartened by the fact that I bumped into one of my readers at the launch earlier this week of the IPO's strategic review of the UK's copyright system in the digital age who complained about not having received a blog posting recently. I offered him his money back and offered my apologies. How nice to be missed!
It was clear from the remarks made at the launch by David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Intellectual Property and Higher Education is that the UK wants to be at the forefront of this debate at an international level. There's going to be a wide ranging consultation and submissions can be sent to the IPO until February 6th 20009 (see the Issues Paper).
You'll see in the IPO Press Release that "The new Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) will play an important role in the development of this work." In turn, SABIP has created an Expert Panel to help it develop its thinking on copyright. Here's SABIP's Press Release about the Panel.
You'll see that I have been appointed as a member of the Expert Panel, so any views I express in my Blog on copyright are going to be purely my own, and won't reflect the views of SABIP, the IPO or the Expert Panel. That said, if you've been a regular reader of my blog you'll know my views about copyright's central importance in the digital age.
You'll see that the IPO's Issues Paper focuses on four areas:
- Access to works: Is the current system too complex, in particular in relation to the licensing of rights, rights clearance and copyright exceptions? Does the legal enforcement framework work in the digital age?
Incentivising investment and creativity: Does the current copyright system provide the right incentives to sustain investment and support creativity? Is this true for both creative artists and commercial rights holders? Is this true for physical and online exploitation? Are those who gain value from content paying for it?
Recognising creative input: Does the current system provide the right balance between commercial certainty and the rights of creators and creative artist? Are creative artists sufficiently rewarded/ protected through their existing rights?
Authenticating works: What action, if any, is needed to address issues related to authentication? In considering the rights of creative artists and other rights holders is there a case for differentiation?
So copyright is going to be at the top of the agenda for 2009 and given the increasingly important role of the creative industries in the UK's economic and cultural life, this is a debate in which we all have to participate.