Intellectual property in the digital economy

Intellectual property is increasingly political.  Recent protests against SOPA/PIPA and ACTA demonstrate that consumers are unhappy with big business driving IP policy.  Lena Roland has summarised the key issues surrounding these initiatives in an excellent guest post on the InfoVision blog.In response to a call from European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes for ‘Big ideas for the Digital Agenda', the Linked Content Coalition (LCC) has been launched this week.The LCC brings together executives from TV, music, news media, IT and internet businesses, and has been set up to work on a cross media project which aims to improve the management of copyright in the online world.  LCC participants want to identify what works - and what doesn't - and to develop a model that will facilitate commercial and non-commercial use of content.Meanwhile, Consumer International has published its IP Watchlist for 2012.  In it, 30 countries are ranked according to how their intellectual property (IP) laws and enforcement policies affect consumers.  The report gathers examples of ‘good' and ‘bad practice' and highlights initiatives which it feels will provide a fair balance between content consumers and creators.Israel takes first place in the report, praised for its ‘fair use' approach to copyrighted material.  The UK appears in the bottom three for the fourth successive year.  The report argues that outdated copyright law hinders academic research, digital product development and ‘cultural engagement' and calls for the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review to be implemented ‘without delay'.The report can be downloaded for free.