Sunday 3 March 2013

Quantifying maximum benefits of law reforms: questions about Hargreaves

Veteran copyright and information science expert Professor Charles Oppenheim has keen keeping an eagle eye on the predicted benefits of the promised/threatened UK digital copyright reforms outlined in the hastily-conceived and even more hastily-composed Digital Opportunity (the Hargreaves Review, which you can read all about on its very own web page here). Apparently questions have been asked in the House of Commons:
""John Whittingdale (Maldon, Conservative [and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group]) asked Secretary of State Vince Cable MP why the estimates of maximum financial benefits from the implementation of the Hargreaves Report have been cut, following on from the news that the revaluation had brought the gains down from £27 billion to to £790 million through the Modernising Copyright plan.

Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire, Liberal Democrat), responding, stated that the reason for the reduction in net gains to the British economy is due to the fact that Modernising Copyright does not contain the creation of the single EU patent or the Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE)".
Comments Charles:
"REALLY? Are the single European patent and the DCE going to be that valuable to the UK economy (and over what period?) I'm amazed!".
Comments this blogger (who shares Charles's amazement), what does the new patent package have to do with the valuation of the benefits of a new digital copyright regimes anyway?  He also thinks that the real reason why the DCE will not confer vast value on the British economy is that most digital products are ripe for being exploited globally via the internet, while the DCE can hardly confer benefits that extend beyond the jurisdiction.

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