UK Music statement on government proposals to modernise the copyright system

Today (December 14th) Government has published its consultation on proposals to change the UK’s copyright system, based upon the ten recommendations made by Professor Ian Hargreaves in his Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Our members will respond in detail to this far-reaching document over the next 14 weeks.

Clearly, there is a case for updating the UK’s copyright framework in some areas. For instance, making it lawful for a person to copy their CDs to their iPod for private use is a long overdue reform - and one where the UK is at odds with the rest of Europe.

UK Music believes that music fans in this country should enjoy the same clarity as those in France or Germany. Likewise, musicians, composers and music businesses in this country should enjoy parity with their European counterparts.

However, the sole purpose of Professor Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property was to facilitate economic growth. The 10 recommendations made by the review, it is asserted, will add between 0.3 and 0.6 percent to annual GDP growth – up to £7.9 billion per annum.

From the evidence presented so far, UK Music believes that these growth projections are overstated and unrealistic, and are based upon underlying assumptions that are deeply flawed.

Added to this is a very real danger that poorly targeted or ideologically driven changes to copyright law could instead undermine growth, both for the UK’s creative sector and those digital businesses dependent upon our valuable content.

Notes:

Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property & Growth was published on May 19th 2011
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview-finalreport.pdf

The Review made 10 recommendations, with an estimated growth impact of £5.5bn-£7.9bn per annum
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview-doc-ee.pdf

Government accepted all 10 recommendations on August 3rd 2011, announcing “sweeping reforms for UK intellectual property laws…aiding growth and adding billions to the UK economy”   http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Aug/reforming-ip
UK Music evidence to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee inquiry into the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmbis/writev/1498/m68.htm

ENDS

For further information, please contact Adam Webb on 020 7306 4447 or email adam.webb@ukmusic.org

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