History of the Copyright Hub

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 2006, Creative Britain Report in 2008, Digital 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.


The Copyright Hub’s Inception

In November 2010, Professor Ian Hargreaves was commissioned to chair a review of the UK’s IP framework for supporting innovation and promoting economic growth. The Review, published in May 2011, concluded that the current IP framework was falling behind the advancement of digital technologies and the need of market, and proposed a comprehensible list of ten recommendations for future changes. Amongst them, Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) was presented as a main solution for streamlining copyright licensing across sectors in global digital markets.

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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