A world-first innovation aims to simplify online copyright approvals – and it’s all just a click away.

Australian rights management and collection society, the not-for-profit Copyright Agency has partnered with UK not-for-profit The Copyright Hub on its global permission technology, launched overnight in the UK by British Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

Chair of the Copyright Agency Kim Williams explains, “The process can be this simple. When a user wants to copy an image or a piece of text, they will be able to simply right-click on it to find out who owns it, whether the owner wants to be paid for its use and if so, how much they want. A simple transaction can follow.

“This signals a practical and fresh way of synchronising digital sharing with an outstandingly easy approval process.”

More countries are expected to follow Australia’s lead, making for a fast and easy process for people who want to do the right thing online.

Mr Williams says, “We are delighted to invest in The Copyright Hub as we share its vision to make copyright work better for both creators and users. We will work with our more than 28,000 creator members – authors, journalists, artists, publishers – to identify and tag online content.

“There’ll be a trial phase initially followed by an extensive rollout.”

Chairman of The Copyright Hub, Richard Hooper, says “I am delighted that Australia, in the shape of the Copyright Agency, has agreed to join the partnership and contribute funds alongside the UK creative industries, the British Government and our two US partners, the Copyright Clearance Center and the Motion Picture Association of America. This is a global initiative, because the internet is global.

“It’s about using technology to minimise transaction costs, thus opening up a whole new high-volume, low-value market for reuse of copyright content. This is about using internet technology to hide the complexity of copyright and make licensing easier and cheaper. From our first meetings, our Australian counterparts ‘got it’ and we are grateful for their confidence in us and their strong support.”

There are now nearly 100 Copyright Hub applications planned in the UK, with ten under active development, including photo/picture library Mary Evans and the British Film Institute (BFI).

Mr Williams says, “Creators should receive more payments for high-volume, low-value transactions which is good news for the authors, artists and journalists whose incomes have been eroded over the past decade, both in the UK and Australia.

“Of course copyright law gives creators the freedom to say what happens to their work regardless of whether they’re seeking payment. The Copyright Hub works just as well for those who want to make their content available for no charge but still want to know how the work is being used and be attributed for it.”

About The Copyright Hub

The Copyright Hub Ltd is a non-profit company limited by guarantee. It is managed by the CEO Dominic Young and overseen by an Executive Board of directors chaired by Richard Hooper CBE. The primary forum through which the Copyright Hub receives guidance, help and steering from its stakeholders is its Partners Board which includes representatives from across the creative industries, users, the technology sector and government. For more information, please visit: www.copyrighthub.co.uk