1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Meet the Director

This blog belatedly brings you a report of the first public appearance of the new Director of Copyright and Enforcement at the IPO, some two weeks ago.

To an audience of august experts in copyright, from the judiciary, the bar, academia, private practice and in-house solicitors and of course bloggers, hosted by BDB (aka Bircham Dyson Bell) at their elegant offices a stone's throw from the Houses of Parliament, Dr Ros Lynch gave her first public speech, some three weeks into her new role.

To the patent (sorry) delight of all present, Dr Lynch indicated a new fresh approach from the IPO - with the most used words in her talk being co-operation, engagement and evidence.

As a career civil-servant with a social research background, she emphasised the importance of evidence and research driven decision-making and that she wanted to meet and properly engage with all stakeholders.  She spoke of wanting to take the experience of her first exposure to the world of copyright, as Chief Executive of the Copyright Hub with a focus on information gathering and questioning stakeholders, and to bring that to the IPO.

She was also keen to work in partnership - calling on the support of industry to support research into areas to which the IPO's budget does not run.

She emphasised the desire to draw a line under decisions that have already been made and start afresh building new relationships.  She indicated that the policy line defined by the Hargreaves Report would not be treated as gospel, but that she was in no hurry to set an agenda for a long list of new copyright laws.

The first question to the new Director came, fittingly, from Mr Justice Arnold, our leading judicial copyright expert, interrogating Dr Lynch as to what she would treat as cogent evidence, in the light of the challenge of establishing evidence in some areas of copyright policy; the response demonstrated Dr Lynch's research background - she emphasised that economic evidence was by no means the only thing she would look at and the importance of taking a considered and balanced view in the round.

From this blogger's perspective, the fresh approach from the IPO is to be welcomed; in the recent past it has not been very good at hearing what it didn't want to hear - and all present came away with a real sense that, under this leadership, the copyright and enforcement division of the IPO will be open and genuinely considerative of all viewpoints.

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