Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

The Libraries and Archive Copyright Alliance’s response to the Digital Copyright Exchange Feasibility Study.

(February 2012)


In November 2011 Richard Hooper  was appointed to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) in the UK.

The aim of a DCE is to streamline the licensing process for low- to-medium-value usage of in-copyright works by providing a one-stop-shop that enables fast and easy clearance of rights. It was first proposed in the Hargreaves Review.

LACA’s response

In January 2012, Hooper invited stakeholders within the creative industries to respond to a call for evidence which asks two questions:

  • Whether they agree with the ‘Hargreaves Hypothesis’ – that the current copyright licensing system is not fit for purpose for the digital age.
  • Whether they agree with his proposed definitions, including the market definition.

LACA’s response says that it supports the concept of a DCE, believing it would benefit users and creators alike. Libraries and archives could contribute significantly to such a project by making their cultural heritage and research output material available for licensing online.


In March 2012 Hooper published “Rights and Wrongs: is copyright licensing fit for purpose for the digital age?”, the Phase 1 diagnostic report of the feasibility study.

The final report,  “Copyright Works: streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age”, was published in July 2012.  It recommended:

  • Information and copyright education.
  • Registries of rights.
  • A marketplace for rights – licensing solutions.
  • Help with the orphan works problem.

The Copyright Hub builds upon the DCE concept.