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Copyright Hub – what is it and what will it do?

Print publication

12/09/2013

As part of the Government’s ongoing initiative to modernise the way we perceive and deal in copyright works in the UK, it recently released a beta version of the Copyright Hub, an online portal where users can upload or search against copyright works facilitating easier licensing and consumer interaction.

“The Copyright Hub is your gateway to information about copyright in the UK. It points you in the right direction whether you want to learn about copyright, get permission to use somebody else’s work or find out about protecting your work.” (http://www.copyrighthub.org/)

The Copyright Hub has evolved from the seminal review conducted by Professor Hargreaves on copyright in the UK for a digital age. Amongst other conclusions, Professor Hargreaves was critical of access to copyright works and the difficulties that consumers often encounter in locating and identifying copyright owners. Following the review, it was recommended by the Government that a not-for-profit, industry-led, copyright hub be established.

The purpose of the Copyright Hub is to act as an informative resource for users to learn about copyright as well as to provide easy access for consumers to owners and licensing bodies of copyright works from where they can gain permission to use the works. The Copyright Hub is currently in its infancy and links to a limited number of copyright licensing agencies only at this stage. It is intended that, if initial tests appear positive, more organisations and copyright owners will be added to the Hub in due course.

The Hub’s website contains three main areas:

  • Find out about copyright: This section contains information about copyright generally, licensing, copyright organisations and the law, as well as information specifically for schools and young people.
  • Get permission: Via the hub, users are provided with information about various copyright works including music, images, text, video and multimedia and how and from whom permission may be gained to access and use the work.
  • Protect: Whilst the Hub recognises that copyright subsists automatically, it also provides users with information about “marking” their works and joining licensing bodies.

The Hub is overseen by the Copyright Hub Launch Group (CHLG) which is chaired by Richard Hooper CBE. Once completed it is hoped that the Hub will act as an accessible and central portal from where users can share and profit from their work.

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