Three weeks after taking up the mantle of the Director for Copyright and Enforcement in the Intellectual Property Office, Dr Ros Lynch appeared at her first public engagement, speaking of her plans for the future to interested parties at the offices of Bircham Dyson Bell LLP. Last night, Thursday 20th March 2014, Dr Lynch gave a key note speech to some thirty professionals, followed by a short number of questions, and afterward very graciously networked and chatted over drinks and canapés, answering any and all questions thrown at her.
Dr Lynch will, of course, be well-known to those of us who have an interest in copyright, as she spearheaded the first two years of the establishment of the Copyright Hub. Dr Lynch’s approach in setting up such an initiative was very much to get out and speak to the interested parties and stakeholders, who would be affected by the implementation of the Hub. For those of us interested in the progress of the Hub, it is worth investigating their website, http://www.copyrighthub.co.uk/, which is currently in Phase 1 testing.
The attitude displayed in her work with the Copyright Hub was very much evident in her key note speech – Dr Lynch spoke about her intention of meeting as many people as her diary will allow, and emphasised her intentions to get out and talk to stakeholders of every type. She also spoke of the need for evidence before considering policy changes – an attitude which has been evident in the IPO over the last few years.
Dr Lynch also pointed out that by the end of this year, the recommendations laid out in the 2011 Hargreaves Review (available here) will all have been implemented. She stated that in the future, she will be drawing a line under Hargreaves and will begin thinking about new copyright policy.
In response to a question about what constitutes evidence for the IPO from Mr Justice Arnold, Dr Lynch made reference to documentation published by the IPO outlining what is evidence (on which see here) and also emphasised the need for evidence which is more than just economic evidence. Dr Lynch pointed out that she will not have time to conduct all this research herself, naturally, and emphasised her commitment again to seeking opinions from relevant parties. She also, rather wittily in this writer’s opinion, noted that as a judge, her questioner is likely to see a far higher volume of evidence than she herself, and asked him to pass on his opinion of what constitutes evidence.
In her first public engagement as Director for Copyright and Enforcement, in this writer’s opinion, Dr Lynch presented herself as charming, enthusiastic, dedicated and certainly willing to listen – it is with interest that this author will follow her progress, and that of the IPO.