The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced that the government intends to accept all ten of the recommendations made by the review into intellectual property led by Ian Hargreaves (the review can be found here).
Cable also said that plans to block illegal filesharing sites were to be dropped, as they were felt to be unworkable.
The response to these announcements has generally been positive. Glyn Moody, writing in Computer World UK, is one of those to welcome them, saying that:
perhaps the key proposal of the report was one that might be overlooked as being “obvious”: that policy should be based on evidence. But the importance of that truly profound idea can be seen from the number of times that it is invoked by the UK government in its reponse. For example:
the Government will in future give limited weight in IP policy-making to evidence that is not sufficiently open and transparent in its approach and methodology, and we will make it clear where we are taking this view. IPO will set out guidance in Autumn 2011 on what constitutes open and transparent evidence, in line with professional practice.
Moody points out that much policy in this area has been driven by industry lobbying – this new approach, if followed through, represents a major shift in direction.