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Modernising copyright to help strengthen contribution to growth

Modernising copyright to help strengthen contribution to growth

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New legislative measures to update the UK’s copyright licensing system were announced today, to help strengthen the system and boost its contribution to the economy and society.

New clauses to be included in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will be published later this week. They would:

allow the creation of a future ‘orphan works’ scheme to open access to valuable material that currently can’t be licensed or used put in place a voluntary regime for extending collective licensing to help reduce complexities in the systemreserve a power to introduce statutory codes of conduct for collecting societies if they fail to operate to minimum standards.

Business Minister Norman Lamb said:

“It is vital that we make the most of our creative industries, boosting their contribution to the economy while ensuring protection of the rights holders. The copyright licensing system has been behind the times and we need to modernise and make it fit for the 21 st century.

“The measures we plan to introduce as soon as possible would make it easier for those seeking access to, and use of, copyrighted works. Freeing up so-called ‘orphan works’ will allow use of works for the first time, making the most of untapped economic and creative potential. Extending licensing arrangements for collective societies, whilst ensuring rights holders are protected, will also help maximise the benefit for the UK’s world-class creative industries.”

In addition, the Government plans to introduce a power to implement a recent EU Directive on the term of protection for sound recordings in a way that keeps the UK’s current strong criminal penalties for copyright infringement.

The draft clauses will be published later this week and will be subject to scrutiny as part of the Bill’s progress through Parliament. These measures were developed by Government in response to recommendations from the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, which was published in August 2011.

Harnessing the value and making the most of the UK’s intellectual property is a vital element of a vibrant and modern economy. The measures outlined today will form an important part of the Government’s growth strategy, making sure the UK is one of the best places to start, finance and grow a business.

Notes to editors:

2. The Government’s policy statement: Consultation on modernising copyright can be found :

2. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

3. Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.

4. It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.

5. For further information, please contact Veena Mapara:; 020 7215 5614.

6. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44 (0) 20 7215 3505.

7. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the
‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20;

· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business;

· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy;

· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

8. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.


BIS Press Office

Veena Mapara
Phone: 020 7215 5614

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