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MPs wrong on copyright reform, says government IP adviser

The author of a government-commissioned report that recommended wholesale IP reform but was criticised last week by MPs has hit back.

Ian Hargreaves, professor of digital economy at Cardiff University, has rejected the report published by the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on 27 September. That report said that the proposed reforms to intellectual property law, designed to make researchers exempt from infringing copyright when accessing research results online, would not improve the existing legislation. The reforms were proposed by Hargreaves in a government-commissioned report published in May 2011, and later adopted by government.

In an article published on The Conversation website on 30 September, Hargreaves argues that “existing law does not work well”. He states that reform is needed “to relieve archivists of the dilemma that it can be illegal for them to copy a work even for preservation and to prevent damaging restrictions on the ability of researchers to use techniques such as text and data mining; or to make copyright rules right for digital era schools and universities”.

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