Jul 31, 2015

The UK Copyright Hub – what's that then?

What is it?

The Copyright Hub is an online database providing users with information about the author, origin, and cost of licensing a particular copyright work. Information is stored in a common format and attributed to the relevant works, ready to be viewed by a user at any time. Additionally, and more generally, the Copyright Hub 'aims to make copyright licensing easier' by assisting users with the complexity of copyright terminology.

With an initial focus on images, the Copyright Hub also covers music, videos, text and multimedia.

At face value it may seem simple – not dissimilar to an ISPN number on a book – but achieving  a common format of identification across digital formats, such as images (or, for example, ebooks, music and film) is complicated business. The technology behind the Copyright Hub has been developed by the Digital Catapult (https://digital.catapult.org.uk/).

Who benefits?

Creators, creative industries and consumers.

Creators of works are left in control of licensing (costs and type of license e.g. non-commercial/commercial/personal use), but given access to an arguably limitless user base. In turn, users can legitimately access and license works which they can then use with knowledge of their right to do so.

Will it work?

Richard Hooper, Chairman of the Copyright Hub, said it's creation marked a 'new era for copyright' and even claimed it had the potential to be 'on par with the creation of the web itself'! - serious words or maybe he was being somewhat tongue in cheek.

The Copyright Hub has certainly received its fair share of time and investment, and in turn international success. A new partnership with Australian organistion Copyright Agency will result in further incoming funding and adoption of the technology in Australia, and work is also ongoing with US organisations.

The Copyright Hub seeks to utilise open source technology, and it seems its success will be determined by its user base – do people want it to work? If so, it could indeed be (relatively) revolutionary. Have a look for yourself at www.copyrighthub.co.uk.

in: Copyright, Legal News, News

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