BIS Select Committee reports on digital economy

In July the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee published its report on the digital economy. The committee urged the government to publish its digital strategy as soon as possible and, amongst other conclusions, made a number of key recommendations:

  • In order to allow for more accurate measurement of the digital contribution to the levels of UK productivity, the government should explore ways of collecting real time data and of applying standard terminology and coding of activity.
  • The government should provide greater regulatory clarity in relation to the digital economy. It should explore new regulatory opportunities, ensuring that appropriate regulation is in place to support and encourage innovative use of technology whilst also protecting consumers and avoiding placing non-digital industries at a disproportionate disadvantage.
  • The government should explore ways in which platform providers could become key players in the regulatory framework, ensuring user compliance in order to reduce risks to the public.
  • The government should continue to provide financial support to the Copyright Hub and the IP Crime Unit which was set up in the City of London in 2013 (the latter of which the committee recommended extending into other parts of the UK).
  • The committee supports the proposed increased penalties for online copyright infringement (included in the Digital Economy Bill) and recommended that the government adopt a proactive role in stopping metadata stripping.

The committee also called on the government to explain how the digital strategy will be affected by Brexit and to provide details on current negotiations with the EU relating specifically to the digital economy. A full version of the report can be accessed here.

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