The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property

Hargreaves Implementation - Update Tuesday 22 November 2011

Business secretary Vince Canle today announced the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) in the UK:

A DCE has the potential to boost economic growth in the creative sector by lowering the costs of licensing and giving businesses and consumers easier access to copyrighted material. The recommendation to create a DCE was put forward by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his report; Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. The review suggested that an exchange has the potential to grow the UK economy by over £2 billion.

Richard Hooper said: 'There are people all across the creative sector trying to develop ways of licensing works using new digital technologies. We need to bring that enthusiasm and talet together to create a universal system that benefits everyone. This work is about helping the industry do more, to do it quicker and grow the economy.

My work will be in two distinct phases. First I want to talk to people across and outside the sector to find out how they see the licensing challenges facing them. As part of that process, I'll be looking to meet the key players and to provide opportunities for all those interested to air their views. We will then be able to forge some common understanding so that I can look to produce appropriate industry-led solutions which respond to the spirit of Hargreaves' vision.'

Fight for Your Moral Rights! - Thursday 1 September 2011

The Artists Bill of Rights is urging all creatives to make submissions to the Hargreaves Review.

We have until Monday 5 September to make a written submission to the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee which will begins its review of Hargreaves recommendations and the government's plans to implement them.

If Hargreaves is implemented this is how the UK landscape will look to photographers:

  • The moral rights of authors will still not be automatically granted as in other EU countries.
  • Moral rights will still not be made unwaivable as in other EU countries.
  • There will still be no sanctions for the removal of digital copyright information from digital works.
  • Orphan works will be used for commercial purposes.
  • That remedies for unauthorised use will be restricted for those who have not registered their works.
  • Creators are not given a level playing field with industry in contract and other matters.
  • Artists rights will still not be recognised as human rights.

The above could be the synopsis of a horror story, we should fight to prevent this. Artists Bill of Rights have published a simple step by step guide to making a submission to this committee here.

The submission has to be in your own words, but the website has all the information you need to do this.

Remember, the last day for submission to the UK committee is close of business on Monday 5th of September 2011, you have time to do this, your help is needed, and from all your creative colleagues.

BPC Criticises Government Response to Hargreaves Review - Thursday 4th August 2011

As a member of the BPC, we fully support their criticism of the Government's reponse to the Hargreaves Review:

The British Photographic Council is dismayed by the government’s response to the Hargeaves review of intellectual property law.

The policy decisions articulated in the response seem weighted in favour of big business and individual consumers, while the interests of creators have mostly been ignored.

The proposals for the licensing of orphan works would leave the door wide open to commercial exploitation, something that is resolutely opposed by photographers. It would be churlish, though, not to welcome the intention that the fee for such a licence should reflect commercial value. Nonetheless, we would much prefer licensing to be limited to non-commercial and clearly defined cultural use.
Of equal importance is our belief that such licensing should be conducted by organisations that are accountable to the authors.

Following the Hargreaves Review, the government response does not address the pressing issue of moral rights in UK law. The problem of orphan works cannot be resolved while authors lack an enforceable right to be identified.

The proposed Digital Copyright Exchange arouses our suspicion. Photographers require the right to know not only who is licensing their work but to whom their work is licensed, and to be able to refuse a licence to unsavoury publishers whose toxicity might damage the photographer’s reputation.

On the other hand, we welcome the commitment to a small claims track for IP cases in the County Court. We have been lobbying on this for a number of years, and it should prove of considerable value to our members. The Government should be in no doubt, however, that such a court is absolutely essential for small businesses and we will work to remove any doubt from their minds.

There is still much work to be done.

BPC Response to Hargreaves Review - Tuesday 24th May 2011

The British Photographic Council (BPC) - of which BIPP is an active member - has released their response to the Hargreaves Review.

The British Photographic Council :
The BPC welcomes some parts of the report, but remains wary of the lack of detail in others and will keep making the case for mandatory moral rights - the only way to stop work being deliberately orphaned.

We are delighted that Professor Ian Hargreaves has kicked into touch the proposed conversion to a US-type system of ‘fair use’. This is a recognition that the UK system of ‘fair dealing’ is equitable.

We are equally pleased that the report (Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth) recommends the introduction of a small claims track for IP court cases.
This was a major element of our submission to the Review, and we consider the establishment of such a court as essential to the interests of freelance creators.
On the downside, we have serious concerns about the proposal to allow extended collective licensing of orphan works. Indeed, we fear it might not be limited to orphan works. It is of paramount importance to photographers that they retain the right to decide where and when their work is used.
We would emphasise that any use of orphan works should be for non-commercial purposes, and press for a workable and strictly worded definition of non-commercial.

The suggested digital copyright exchange is a concept with great potential, but the detail would be crucial.
What disappoints us most, however, is the complete refusal by the Review team to address the issue of the very weak framework of moral rights within this country. Creators should have an unwaivable right to be identified as author of their works and to defend their integrity.
Said BPC Chair John Toner "There is an absurdity in proposing a system for the licensing of works whose authors cannot be identified without introducing an enforceable right to be identified. Without such a right, works will continue to be orphaned.

"We will continue to campaign and lobby on this point for as long as it remains necessary"

Contact: John Toner, Chair - 0207 278 7916

Publication of Hargreaves Report - Wednesday 18th May 2011

The Hargreaves Report on Intellectual Property has now been published and can be downloaded here or from the Intellectual Property Office website at

Deadline - Friday 4th March 2011

The Review
In November David Cameron announced an independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation.  The review is chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves and will report in April.

It’s Aims
The Review aims to identify barriers to growth within the Intellectual Property (IP) framework, which consists of the rules and regulations covering how IP is created, used and protected in this country.
The Review will see if the IP Framework needs to be adjusted. It will look at what we can do to enhance the support the IP Framework gives to business, focusing on identifying barriers to growth in the IP system and how to overcome these barriers, and on how the IP Framework could better enable the business models of the 21st Century.
It will look at:
  • Barriers to new internet-based business models, including the costs of obtaining permissions from existing rights-holders.
  • The cost and complexity of enforcing intellectual property rights within the UK and internationally.
  • The interaction between IP and Competition frameworks
  • The cost and complexity to SMEs of accessing services to help them protect and exploit their IP

The Review’s ‘Call for Evidence’

The IP Review team has now published a ‘Call For Evidence’ that seeks information on how well the current IP system helps to promote entrepreneurialism, economic growth, social and commercial innovation.
The Review team has put a deadline on the ‘Call For Evidence’ of 4 March 2011.
The Information They Need
The Review team has made it quite clear that they are interested only in the business and financial implications of the IP framework. They are looking for specific, detailed evidence of the implications of the IP framework on photographers.
The Call for Evidence can be found at: Call For Evidence
How to Submit Your Response can be found at: How to Submit Your Response

What We Need To Do

1)      Remember – the review is asking for hard facts, with supporting evidence. Without this factual approach, your response may not be given the time it deserves. Rants based on morals and ethics will not get far.
2)      Only answer the review’s list of questions if you have plenty of time and are able to answer them in a specific and relevant way, with supporting evidence.
3)      Prepare a simple 1-2 sheet submission pointing out:
  • As a professional photographer I make a significant proportion of my income from licensing fees for the Intellectual Property I create and own.
  • I object to provisions in current law that deprive me of the right to assert my authorship of my work in some widespread circumstances.
  • I object to the lack of punitive sanctions in current law against infringers of my property rights.
  • I object to any proposed changes in the law that will further deprive me of my property rights.
  • I want the law changed to strengthen my rights, in particular:
    • I want to retain my moral rights in all circumstances and not have to assert them
    • I want the law strengthened to make it more practicable to enforce my rights, because at the moment it can be quite impracticable
    • I want a simple, cheap online way of pursuing infringers of my rights
    • I want damages awarded to be greater than my normal license fee would have been to compensate me for the significant cost in time and disruption I have suffered as a small business in enforcing my rights   
  • If the changes to current law I want are made I expect to be able to significantly grow my turnover and business as a result, and gain the confidence to try new markets and business models.
4)      If you’re then able to add a paragraph or two describing rights infringements you’ve  personally suffered such as unauthorised use, theft, breach of license terms, lack of payment, rights-grab contracts and onerous terms especially from Big Media, HMG, Local Government, Quangos and charities.  A summary description will be fine, along with a promise to forward full documentation on request.

How to Submit Your Response

This information needs to be submitted by 4 March 2011 and can be done by email.
Details of how to send it can be found at How to Submit Your Response.
Your response must include a copy of the Review’s cover-sheet - Response Cover Sheet, or it may be ignored.

Thank you

If BIPP members submit their concerns and experiences in this way, the Hargreaves Review team cannot ignore or dismiss them. Intellectual Property concerns every working photographer, every time you sell an image, be it a 5 x 7 from a wedding or a disc of commercial shots. 
Please take the time to send your response to the Review team.