Do Outdated Copyright Laws Hinder Growth?

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From patents to copyright laws, restrictions on intellectual property have been in the news a great deal recently. David Cameron’s concern of 2010, that “laws [from] more than three centuries ago are obstructing innovation and economic growth” is now a hot topic amongst innovators, and a potentially serious one.

Of course, David Cameron essentially answered his own question when he said that companies such as Google would have “never set up in Britain.” Outdated copyright laws have, for decades, held back a sector of the economy that could have resulted in significant economic growth for the UK.

The Hargreaves’ review, a statistical study of UK intellectual property and copyright laws, was commissioned in early 2011. The purpose of the study was simple: to gain empirical evidence of whether or not the UK’s copyright laws were cutting economic growth back.

Professor Ian Hargreaves found that digital technology is now “challenging existing business models while enabling new ones.” The review went on to state that the UK intellectual property system, “and particularly the copyright system”, has not kept pace with other economic and technological developments.

Three years after David Cameron’s concerns about copyright laws were spoken, has there been any change? Based on the recommendations of the Hargreaves’ review, a series of changes have taken place. One of the most significant is the implementation of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act of 2013.

This includes a series of intellectual property reforms aimed at improving copyright law in the UK, although the specific changes are not yet known. Legal analysts have high expectations that the bill will support businesses and reduce costs associated with copyright law compliance.

Other copyright concerns include the laws and codes of the European Union, which are believed to be slowing copyright-related innovation. While overall employment in certain creative industries rose by 3.5% per year, on average, from 2000 to 2007, employment in creative industries in the EU rose by just 1% per year, on average.

While we know and understand that reform, both on a national and international level, will be slow, analysts are optimistic that changes to copyright law will come into play relatively soon. The UK is legislating new changes as we speak, while the EU is under increasing pressure to implement its own legal changes.

With international business centres like Singapore and South Korea becoming more popular amongst innovators and the United States currently dominating technology industry growth, the reforms of the UK couldn’t come soon enough.

This article was written by Vannin Capital. Visit their website to find out more about business litigation

November 15, 2013 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized