The Phase 1 diagnostic report on the Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE)feasibility study, led by Richard Hooper, has been published today. You can find it here - Download Diagnostic Report
The DCE was one of the centrepieces of the Hargreaves Review, focusing on digital licensing. So the publication of the study is a significant first step in realising the full potential for 21st century digital licensing.
Here's the Exec Summary:
"This Study has concluded on the basis of the evidence collected that copyright licensing
processes in the UK compare well with other countries in the world but there is much that still
could be improved.
The UK has, for example, more digital music services operating (70+) than any other country.
Copyright licensing can be made more streamlined, easier and cheaper to use, especially for
the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which make up 90% of the creative industries,
without eroding the rights of rights owners.
As a result, innovation will be further encouraged and an ever more diverse array of fi xed and
mobile digital services across all media types (moving pictures, still pictures, text, music, mixed
media) can be expected, driving economic growth across the UK’s creative and technology
There is no evidence of significant problems in the computer games industry, the public
performances/theatre sector, nor in the corporate use of copyright licensing.
But we did identify signif cant problems in a range of other market segments and industry
• Libraries, archives and museums
• Educational institutions
• The audiovisual industry (feature fi lms and television)
• The publishing industry (newspapers, magazines, books and journals)
• The music industry
• The images industry (still pictures, photo libraries, artworks)
We also identified an overarching cross-sector and cross-territory problem which, if resolved,
will further improve copyright licensing for the mixed media and borderless world of the internet.
Digital Copyright Exchange Feasibility Study
Those problems can be summarised as follows:
• Complexity of licensing processes
• Complexity of licensing organisations
• Repertoire imbalance between the digital and physical worlds
• The diffi culty in fi nding out who owns what rights to what content in what country
• The diffi culty in accurately paying to creators the fair share of revenues from uses and
reuses of their copyright content
• The labour-intensiveness, expense and diffi culty of licensing copyright for the high
volume low value transactions that characterise the digital world
• The lack of common standards and of a common language for expressing, identifying
and communicating rights information across the different creative sectors and across
There is a political dimension to the issues surrounding copyright licensing, but it is not party
Media companies wish to see tougher enforcement against copyright infringement.
To achieve this, the media companies must be – and, as important, must be seen to be – doing
everything possible to enable and encourage new digital services.
Making copyright licensing easier to use, less expensive, more accessible for licensees both
large and small, for companies and for individuals, will encourage new digital services.
A wide and diverse range of new digital services for the fi xed and mobile internet that are easy
to use, that offer a repertoire not too different from the physical world, that are customer-oriented
and sensibly priced, reduce, for example in the eyes of the politicians, the justifi cation for any
copyright infringement by consumers.
As a result, there will be stronger political will to enforce copyright ever more vigorously across
peer to peer fi le-sharing, websites, search engines, payment systems and advertisers.
A combination of three streams of activity: our own Phase 2 work – Seeking Solutions; the
various initiatives already underway in the creative industries such as the publishing industry’s
Linked Content Coalition; and the solutions coming out of the IPO’s parallel consultation into
copyright matters, will together enable UK copyright licensing to be even more fi t for purpose in
the years to come."
Have a good week