The creation of Government-backed online licensing ‘Hub’ from which anyone could purchase a music licence from a rights-holder is underway.
The Digital Copyright Exchange went live on July 8, 2013 over at CopyrightHub.co.uk.
According to a new report from the Steering Group behind its creation, it currently offers ‘a simple signposting and navigation service hyperlinking to the relevant parts of suppliers’ websites, with the emphasis on enabling rights users to find out about copyright (copyright information, copyright awareness), discover who owns what rights to what and to get permission to use specifically defined types of works for limited purposes (i.e. getting a licence)’.
Thirty-five organisations are currently linked to the hub, with a view to licensing their materials in future.
According to the Steering Group’s report, the next phase of building the site will begin begin towards the end of 2013 and will see a wide range of new suppliers, both national and international, added.
After that, ‘Phase 2’ is likely to begin in early 2014. This will ‘turn the Hub from a simple signposting and navigation device using hyperlinks into an intelligent switch… able to carry out federated searches’. It will begin being able to perform simple licensing should the Hub’s membership agree.
The report warns that ‘for Phase 2 to succeed, suppliers/members will need to reach agreement about some key technical matters concerning identifiers (which work, which author, which rights?), common vocabulary, etc.,’
‘Phase 3’ is likely to begin in 2015 and would add any extra functionality needed.
You can read the full report through here.
The Hub is being created under the supervision of the Copyright Hub Launch Group (CLSG), whose members include PPL, PRS For Music, UK Music and the BPI.
The Government has pledged £150,000 to fund the pilot of the Hub and to help develop it - but longer-term it will need to be funded by industry, advertising and licensing fees.
The recommendation for a Digital Copyright Exchange came from Professor Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property and growth, published in May 2011. Business Secretary Vince Cable asked Richard Hooper OBE (pictured) to undertake a detailed analysis of whether and how it might work.