Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Hargreaves Review: Can we be told what is happening?

The Hargreaves Review should be the biggest piece of IP news this month. We have been promised all along that it will report in April 2011 and there's not much time left. I have had plenty of other things to think about recently, but there's a small break from the relentless flood of pressing obligations and anyway I need to be ready to cover Hargreaves in my next podcast - so I went looking for news of progress.

First I went to the (independent) Review's pages on the Intellectual Property Office website. Obviously my understanding of the word "independent" in this context is somewhat old-fashioned. I assume that the IPO is just generously providing a facility for the Review, which is exactly the sort of public-spirited activity that I always thought we had a government for rather than all the superficial promotional work the IPO does to raise awareness of the intellectual property system ... not to mention its ridiculous name-changing and the attendant waste of taxpayers' money on trade mark applications that should be completely unnecessary ...

The Review pages on the IPO website are not very informative about where it's got to and when the report will be out. Indeed, the home page hasn't been updated since 25 March - and the rest of the site is older still. There's a blog attached to it (which I mentioned in a recent podcast) but that too is up to date to 25 March - which is to say, not up to date at all. And the blog invites us to follow the Review on Twitter - which I find I was already doing, but hadn't noticed because there have been no Tweets since 25 March.

With all those social media resources at its disposal, it's inexcusable for a publicly-funded review to put out so little information about its work. Had the blog and the Twitter account not been set up in the first place, and my expectations therefore raised, I'd just be waiting for the words of wisdom to emerge - standing patiently outside the HMSO bookshop, perhaps. This dearth of information, though, is pathetic, and a bit of an insult to all who will feel the impact of what the review recommends - and to the taxpayers who have funded the exercise.

No comments:


blogger templates | Make Money Online