Foreword – by Baroness Wilcox
The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve strong, sustainableand balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country andbetween industries. It is looking to cut back on things that are curbing growthof investment and hiring by business across the economy. Intellectualproperty (IP) as a whole helps underpin the case for investment in and bybusinesses across the economy, from striking designs to hard-won reputationand brand. It is important to creative work in industries from media and ICTto pharmaceuticals and aerospace.Copyright is the central IP right relied on by the UK’s strong creativeindustries. By dening who can and cannot use creative works in particular ways, copyright both helps encourage investment in these works – lms,visual arts, music and books, for example – and restricts their use.The Hargreaves Review was launched by the Prime Minister to look atenhancing the impact the IP system has on growth and reported in May2011. In August 2011 the Government set out the range of actions that it willtake in response to the Review. Its aim is to remove unnecessary barriersto growth from the IP system while maintaining appropriate incentives for investment in the creation of IP.Many of Professor Hargreaves’s recommendations were aimed at tacklingproblems with the copyright system. A range of difculties, with licensingcopyright works in particular, appear to be holding back valuable uses of those works in ways that, in many cases, do not benet copyright holdersand may even harm their interests. These problems also impact negativelyon potential users of those works, whether other businesses or customers:they make it harder to start and grow businesses.This consultation sets out how the Government proposes to tackle some of these issues with copyright, in line with its response to the HargreavesReview. It seeks relevant evidence on the potential for the proposedmeasures to improve the contribution of the copyright system to UKeconomic growth, to inform decisions on legislative and other action inthese areas.The Government’s intention is to respond to this consultation and makeformal proposals for legislation or other action in an IP and Growth WhitePaper in Spring 2012. The White Paper would also serve as a progressreport on other work arising from the Hargreaves Review, whether ultimately leading to legislation or not.