HC Deb 19 January 1998 vol 304 cc400-1W
Dr. Whitehead

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to publish the Green Paper on the future of Crown copyright. [24422]

Dr. David Clark

A consultation paper, "Crown copyright in the Information Age", has been published today (Cm 3819). The Green Paper sets out a number of options for the future management of Crown copyright on which comments are invited by 31 March 1998. The Green Paper takes account of various representations received over the last year and meetings which officials have had with representatives of the UK Information Industries.

The Government believe there to be considerable scope for reform designed to provide a lead and act as a catalyst for enabling effective dissemination and distribution of official information; and to aid the development of our Information Industries.

The Government look forward to receiving comments on the options and questions aired in the Green Paper. At the end of the consultation period, the Government will announce their conclusions. It is our clear intention, however, to place the management of Crown copyright on a simplified and sure footing which will serve the citizen and user of government-originated material well. The demands of the Information Age, with electronic delivery increasingly substituting for print on paper, requires a new approach. This Green Paper provides the basis for devising that approach.