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The CBI yesterday commented on the Hargreaves review of the UK’s intellectual property (IP) system.
Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

“Professor Ian Hargreaves and his team conducted a thorough review of intellectual property in the UK, and this report contains some credible ideas for improving how the system works. Crucially, Hargreaves has rightly focused on promoting market access, and has rejected the wholesale adoption of fair use principles in the UK.

“The creation of a voluntary Digital Copyright Exchange is an innovative response to the challenges faced by our creative industries in the digital age. The Exchange should make it easier for businesses and individuals to legitimately access and pay for copyrighted material, while allowing rights owners to retain control of how their content is used and sold.

“However, robust copyright protection should be available to all, and preferential enforcement action for material registered on the Digital Copyright Exchange must be avoided. Instead the Exchange should be a collaboration between content creators and the technology sector.

“Enforcement of IP rights, both at home and abroad, will remain one of the biggest issues for firms in the knowledge economy. Those firms will now be looking for reassurance from the Government that it will champion international enforcement, which is so critical to an export-led economic recovery.”

On other recommendations by the Hargreaves review, Ms Hall said:

“Businesses accept the need to bring the law on format shifting into line with common consumer practice, to allow those who’ve paid for copyrighted material to use it in a variety of ways.

“However, the report suggests a range of further copyright exceptions which need to be carefully considered before being adopted as Government policy. Once undone, they could be very difficult to piece back together.

“The report raises important issues around so-called patent thickets. While we accept that these can present barriers to innovation and growth, the Government must be careful to avoid action that will penalise genuine patent clusters and the risk of undermining investment in these important industries.”

Notes to Editors:

The CBI is the UK's leading business organisation, speaking for some 240,000 businesses that together employ around a third of the private sector workforce. The organisation is also the UK's official business representative in the European Union, which generates more than 50 per cent of regulation affecting British firms. With offices across the UK as well as in Brussels, Washington, New Delhi and Beijing, the CBI coordinates British business representation around the world.

Media Contact:

CBI Press Office on 020 7395 8239 or out of hours pager on 07623 977 854. Follow the CBI on Twitter at: www.cbi.org.uk/twitter





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