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The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property

Published Friday, May 17, 2013

This note considers, on the basis of published Impact Assessments, which of the Hargreaves recommendations would require primary, and which secondary, legislation. At Committee stage of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012-13, the Government added two new clauses to the Bill which appear to be a first move toward implementing Hargreaves. These enabling measures, affecting so-called “orphan works” and extended collective licensing, are now enshrined in the 2013 Act but will not take effect until the necessary regulations have been developed, opened to public consultation and approved by Parliament.

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The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property was published in May 2011 under the title Digital Opportunity. It made wide-ranging recommendations, which the Government broadly accepted. There was a subsequent public consultation on implementing the proposals, to which the Government responded in two parts, in July 2012 and December 2012. The Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has also conducted an inquiry into the Hargreaves proposals. One of the proposals, for a Digital Copyright Exchange, was set aside for separate consideration. Richard Hooper was appointed to lead a feasibility study into this proposal and Mr Hooper has now published two reports containing his findings and recommendations.

This note considers, on the basis of published Impact Assessments, which of the Hargreaves recommendations would require primary, and which secondary, legislation. At Committee stage of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2012-13, the Government added two new clauses to the Bill which appear to be a first move toward implementing Hargreaves. These enabling measures, affecting so-called “orphan works” and extended collective licensing, are now enshrined in the 2013 Act but will not take effect until the necessary regulations have been developed, opened to public consultation and approved by Parliament.

The second Government response document (December 2012) announced a number of changes which are intended to introduce greater “freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners”. Secondary legislation to introduce these changes will be introduced in 2013. Prior to this, the Government will publish the draft regulations for technical review.

Commons Briefing papers SN06430

Author: Philip Ward

Topic: Intellectual property

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