Our friend Laurence Kaye has pointed us to the announcement that the UK Government has launched a strategic review of copyright law with David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Intellectual Property and Higher Education saying that the UK wants to be at the forefront of this debate at an international level particularly as the creative makes up 8.2% of GDP with 1.9 million people employed in the sector. The Intellectual property Office has formulated a wide ranging consultation and submissions can be sent to the IPO until February 6th 2009. The Government has created a new Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) which will play an important role in the development of this work . In turn, SABIP has created an Expert Panel to help it develop its thinking on copyright and Laurie is on that panel. The IPO’s Issues Paper (see here http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/press/press-release/press-release-2008/press-release-20081216.htm ) focuses on the four areas being looked at and the questions posed are:
1. Access to works: Is the current system too complex, in particular in relation to the licensing of rights, rights clearance and copyright exceptions? Does the legal enforcement framework work in the digital age?
2. Incentivising investment and creativity: Does the current copyright system provide the right incentives to sustain investment and support creativity? Is this true for both creative artists and commercial rights holders? Is this true for physical and online exploitation? Are those who gain value from content paying for it?
3. Recognising creative input: Does the current system provide the right balance between commercial certainty and the rights of creators and creative artist? Are creative artists sufficiently rewarded/ protected through their existing rights?
4. Authenticating works: What action, if any, is needed to address issues related to authentication? In considering the rights of creative artists and other rights holders is there a case for differentiation?
The past few years have seen a significant increase in consumers enjoying online content with over 15 million households now having domestic internet access. As Laurence says, copyright is going to be at the top of the agenda for 2009 and given the increasingly important and growing role of the creative industries in the UK’s economic and cultural life, this is a debate in which we all have to participate. Responses can be sent firstname.lastname@example.org