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Help Support Reform of UK Intellectual Property Laws - Early Day Motion
In November 2010 the Government commissioned Professor Ian Hargreaves to review Intellectual Property and Growth in the UK. Professor Hargreaves’ Review made a number of important recommendations, including that exceptions at national level should include format shifting (vital for preservation), non-commercial research, and library archiving, and that EU exceptions should support text and data mining. There were also proposals on orphan works, which will allow a pragmatic solution to the question of how to digitize older material while still respecting rights holders. RLUK very much welcomed the recommendations and proposals.
The Government accepted the review and is in the process of consulting on the recommendations. A cross-party Parliamentary Early Day Motion has been tabled in the Commons calling on the Government to implement the recommendations. Strong support for the Motion will help guide the decision making process. It would be hugely helpful of you could write to your local MP and encourage them to sign, if they have not already done so. (Feel free to use any of the text in this post for the letter.) You can find contact details of your local MP at:
and the text of Early Day Motion is at:
We have a unique opportunity to reform IP law so that copyright, and other kinds of intellectual property right, do not act as a barrier to research, economic growth and the creation and communication of knowledge in the digital age.
Currently, libraries and other cultural institutions are unable to carry out the digital preservation activities which are necessary to safeguard our cultural and scientific memory for generations to come. In addition, the lack of a licensing solution for orphan works and for non-members of collecting societies hampers mass digitisation of collections meaning opportunities for knowledge creation, learning and economic growth are being missed. Proposals to enable lawful text and data mining by researchers also provide an opportunity to advance medical and environmental research and enable the UK to take a central part in this work.
The recommendations represent a balanced readjustment of intellectual property law which has become outdated since the last major reform to copyright law which was nearly 25 years ago. In order to place the UK in the best position to flourish in the digitally connected world it is of fundamental importance that the recommendations, all of which exist in other countries already, are progressed and that our cultural and scientific heritage is preserved and can be made available to individuals and businesses.