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Digital opportunity: a review of intellectual property and growth.

The independent report by Professor Ian Hargreaves ​Published 18 May 2011 made recommendations about how the national and international intellectual property system can best work to promote innovation and growth. 

The Review’s specific recommendations to support growth of the UK’s increasingly intangibles

intensive economy required

  • an efficient digital copyright licensing system, where nothing is unusable because the rightsowner cannot be found;

  • an approach to exceptions in copyright which encourages successful new digital technology businesses both within and beyond the creative industries;

  • a patent system capable of preventing heavy demand for patents causing serious barriers to market entry in critical technologies;

  • reliable and affordable advice for smaller companies, to enable them to thrive in the IP intensive parts of the UK economy;

  • refreshed institutional governance of the UK’s IP system which enables it to adapt organically to change in technology and markets

The concept of a digital content exchange was born in the shape of the Copyright Hub led by a coalition of organisations and individuals.




The British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association

The British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association, BLACA, provides a forum for discussion of matters affecting the rights of authors and other copyright owners. It is the UK national group of the International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI)

More information

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The principal tangible outcome from the Hargreaves Review was the setting up of the Copyright Hub in 2014. 

Essentially it claims to do two things:


  • It joins content up to you wherever it is found on the Internet.

  • It opens up a whole new market by letting you automate low cost licensing which is uneconomic to provide otherwise (figures for this market are predicted in the Hargreaves report on intellectual property).


There is more information here about how the Hub technology ecosytem works.

Its website records:

The Copyright Hub emerged in the context of Great Britain in early 2010s, which witnesses an ever increasing importance of Intellectual Property (IP) to the economy, as well as the immense difficulty of IP management in the digital age. A number of recent attempts, including Gowers Review in 2006Creative Britain Report in 2008Digital Britain Report in 2009, and Digital Economy Act in 2010, to reform the existing UK’s IP framework through law amendment had been met with strong opposition and thus were unable to deliver desirable impact on the market.

In 2012, an independent feasibility study on the proposed DCE was conducted by Richard Hooper to determine the potential value of such a system. Phase 1 – Diagnostic Report, published in March 2012, verified Hargreaves’ hypothesis and recommended that there is room for improvements across creative industries if copyright licensing is to become fit for purpose for the digital age. Phase 2 – Solution, published in July 2012, proposed the construction of a not-for-profit, industry-led initiative, which is capable of linking scalably to the growing network of right registries, copyright-related databases and digital copyright exchanges, to facilitate cross-border and cross-sector copyright licensing. Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch named this initiative the Copyright Hub.

Read more about the Copyright Hub Launch Group

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Copyrigh Hub

Publishers' Licensing Services


Formed as the Publishers' Licensing Society in the 1980s the PLS is owned by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), and the Publishers Association (PA).

Together with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, they own and direct the Copyright Licensing Agency, and work closely with NLA media access and aim to provide efficient and effective copyright and licensing solutions to support publishers in providing access to their content.

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Collective Licensing offers a simple and cost effective solution both for those who wish to copy from published materials without breaking the law, and for rights holders where direct licensing would be inefficient and unduly burdensome. The UK's main Collecting Societies are included below

The Copyright Licensing Agency


The CLA simplifies copyright for content users and copyright owners, helping customers legally access, copy and share the published content they need, while also making sure that copyright owners are paid fair royalties for the use of their work.

Formed more than 30 years ago, CLA has been providing rights and licences, as well as a growing range of services that simplify copyright by making it easier to access and re-use content.

Its range of blanket licences are designed to enable customers to copy and share extracts from published copyright content, without having to seek permission or worry about infringing copyright.

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The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA)

The NLA is a publisher owned rights licensing and database business providing access to and licensing the re-use of publishers' content with the declared aim to support journalism. See  infographic.

NLA manages the rights of thousands of print and web titles acting as a supplier of original quality articles and online news stories to media monitoring agencies and their clients.

Formed in 1996, has distributed some £196 million in royalties as well as supporting a number of key initiatives in the wider media industry.

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Collective Licensing
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The Copyright Infringement Portal  was created for the publishing industry by the Publishers Association as an online system to enable publishers to easily identify online infringements, send compliant takedown notices to infringing sites and collate takedown data. 

The CIP has transparent pricing based on the number of magazine titles to protect and there are no restrictions on the number of takedown notices served. For a negotiated price publishers can enrol their titles on the portal which is administered by the Publishers Association here 

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Copyright infringement Portal

World Intellectual Property Forum

WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 191 member states.

As described on its website: "Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international intellectual property (IP) system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

Its remit across Intellectual Property includes

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