Digital agencies to retain IP on public projects

Digital media suppliers will hang on to some of the intellectual property (IP) rights created from work they provide the public sector under an experimental, industry-led scheme.

Nesta said the aim of its new initiative was to test whether allowing digital agencies to retain some, or all, of their IP created for public clients would be a ‘win-win’ model.

Under the IP framework, digital firms would ideally see new opportunities open up, while public clients would benefit from a simpler contractual process and greater flexibility.

One example of the pilot in action could see code provided for software on the NHS later used to build similar applications for other government departments or agencies.

The win-win that Nesta is hoping for, then, won’t just apply to organisations, but should also extend to taxpayers, for whom online services should be quicker to tender and roll out.

As a result, public sector outfits that are commissioning new projects, such as a website, animation or application, can contact the group to trial one of the framework’s six models.

To varying degrees, each model lets digital agencies keep their IP – a groundbreaking development given that many departments use IP frameworks that prohibit the re-use of IP.

However, any changes to IP arrangements will not produce legislative amendments, Nesta said, as the frameworks will only affect contractual terms in public procurement.


2nd December 2009

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