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Hub History

The Copyright Hub is a very young organisation but it already has a rich history.

A little bit of that history in this section. We will be adding to it over time with documents and information from various other workstreams and predecessor organisations, as well as giving a brief narrative history of how the Copyright Hub came to be.

For now there is some information and documentation from the Copyright Hub Launch Group available.

The website of the Copyright Licensing Steering Group is still online as well, although no longer updated. We will be moving all the relevant documents from that site to this section shortly.

There's also lots of information to be found at the Intellectual Property Office website.



Below is a brief history of the Hub written by Hung The Nguyen

The socio-technical and legal context

The Copyright Hub emerged in the context of Great Britain in early 2010s, which witnesses an ever increasing importance of Intellectual Property (IP) to the economy, as well as the immense difficulty of IP management in the digital age. A number of recent attempts, including Gowers Review in 2006, Creative Britain Report in 2008, Digital Britain Report in 2009, and Digital Economy Act in 2010, to reform the existing UK’s IP framework through law amendment had been met with strong opposition and thus were unable to deliver desirable impact on the market.

The Copyright Hub’s Inception

In November 2010, Professor Ian Hargreaves was commissioned to chair a review of the UK’s IP framework for supporting innovation and promoting economic growth. The Review, published in May 2011, concluded that the current IP framework was falling behind the advancement of digital technologies and the need of market, and proposed a comprehensible list of ten recommendations for future changes. Amongst them, Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) was presented as a main solution for streamlining copyright licensing across sectors in global digital markets.

In 2012, an independent feasibility study on the proposed DCE was conducted by Richard Hooper to determine the potential value of such a system. Phase 1 - Diagnostic Report, published in March 2012, verified Hargreaves’ hypothesis and recommended that there is room for improvements across creative industries if copyright licensing is to become fit for purpose for the digital age. Phase 2 - Solution, published in July 2012, proposed the construction of a not-for-profit, industry-led initiative, which is capable of linking scalably to the growing network of right registries, copyright-related databases and digital copyright exchanges, to facilitate cross-border and cross-sector copyright licensing. Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch named this initiative the Copyright Hub.

The Hub’s milestones

·       November 2012: the Copyright Licensing Steering Group (CLSG) and the Copyright Hub Launch Group (CHLG) were set up to oversee the implementation of key recommendations from Hooper’s reports.

·       March 2013: the government gives £ 150,000 funding to kick-start the Copyright Hub.

·       July 2013: the Copyright Hub’s pilot website went online.

·       September 2013: CLSG launched a new report describing the progress made over a period of 12 months in implementing Hooper’s recommendations and announced the establishment of the Copyright Hub Board. CLSG ceased to exist after 30th September 2013.

·       November 2013: Dominic Young was appointed as the new CEO of the Copyright Hub Ltd.


The way forward

Under Dominic Young’s leadership, the Copyright Hub has undergone dramatic change and development. The Hub’s implementation process is guided by two principles. First, the Copyright Hub is ideology-free and thus, once implemented, it can serve any organisations which desire to streamline their copyright licensing processes, regardless of their business models. Second, the Copyright Hub focuses on developing open technologies for the benefit of the copyright licensing industry as a whole, rather than constructing its own proprietary system. These fundamental technologies are to be given away freely so that everyone can build their capacity upon them. Hence, businesses are free from the burden of developing their own technologies and focus on creativity and innovation.

In July 2014, a first demo of the technologies developed by the Copyright Hub, in collaboration with the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, was successfully demonstrated in the presence of 150 stakeholders from creative industries and beyond.    

September 2014