UK IP Report Recommends Creating New Copyright Exceptions, Warns Against Over Regulation

by Michael Geist
The much-anticipated UK Independent Review of IP and Growth, typically
referred to as the Hargreaves report, was released this morning. The
report focuses on how intellectual property laws can stifle innovation
and urges the UK government to enact reforms that remove legal
barriers to economic growth (James Boyle, who served as expert advisor
to the review, gives his take here). For example, it notes:

Because IPRs grant a form of monopoly, an overly rigid and inflexible
IP framework can act as a barrier to innovation. When a firm has
acquired exclusive rights over its innovative technology or content,
other firms will be able to learn from that technology or see the
content, but may be unable to use them for further innovation unless
licensing can be agreed. IPRs can constrain third parties wishing to
access or innovate on top of this protected knowledge or content, with
potentially serious economic and social costs.

The report also notes that a considerable amount of IP policy is often
not based on economic evidence, citing as examples the EU database
directive and the extension of the term of copyright.

the report is here: