The committee has made four recommendations on copyright: Google should be required to block copyright-infringing content as strongly as it does child pornography, the maximum sentence for copyright theft should be increased to 10 years in prison, and the government should implement the anti-piracy provisions of the 2010 Digital Economy Act and that they should reverse their previously favorable position on the measures suggested in my review.
The CMS committee believes that the existing law is effective.
In some ways, the current law is not working well. It is still illegal to copy a rights-protected music file from one device to another. It’s no wonder that people are confused about what is legal and illegal. What is the answer? The answer?
Reforms are also required in other areas, such as to free archivists from the dilemma of having to copy works even for preservation purposes and to stop researchers from being restricted by the use of techniques like text mining and data mining. The government is now putting forward detailed and workable reforms to address these concerns.
In the review, I argued that to achieve a copyright regime that is respected and enforced in a manner that commands public support, it must be free of absurdities. I also argue rights holders should do a better work in licensing and selling their rights, particularly for small, low value transactions, by using what I call a Digital Copyright Exchange.
The committee has approved this aspect of the project. However, a successful exchange will not be enough if the law is still slapped on the face. This will also damage the business. We can unleash a new level of energy by combining one-click licensing with rules that are sensible and pass the test of common sense.
The committee has made a fundamental error in its judgment, as it focuses exclusively on existing creative industry players, mainly large ones, and ignores the perspectives of emerging digital firms and entrepreneurs. It also does not take into account consumers, who are left out of this report.
To make the most out of the UK’s creative economy, we need a more balanced approach. The term “creative economies” appears in the title of the CMS Committee Report but is not defined. It seems to be used randomly and interchangeably with “creative economy.”
In the recent Nesta Manifesto of the Creative Economy that I co-authored, we correct this imprecision. We define the creative economies based on data from the labor force, allowing us to count the number of creative workers both inside and outside the creative industries and to calculate the value of their output and the size of the creative sector.
According to these Nesta definitions, the UK creative sector employs around 2.5 million people and represents about 10% of the UK gross added value. We have now outlined a plan to help the creative economy thrive.
There is a “schools’ digital pledge” that aims to bring together the arts, design, technology, and computer science in the curriculum. A seven-point plan has been developed for creative clusters, and there are proposals to place creative economy research and developments on par with other sectors. We talked about the BBC’s role and shared some thoughts on the complicated issue of policing the competition on the Internet. A also saluted copyright reform, working within the exceptions allowed in European law, and a future, unified EU digital marketplace will be an essential component of success.
This is a better program for supporting the UK’s creative economy than that put forward by politicians on the CMS Committee. Why not read them both and decide for yourself?