Link to PDF version of 'Government Response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report into New Media and the Creative Industries' - Document authored by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, July 2007.
- The structure of the report is a brief introduction, followed by reproduction of the CMS Committee's 28 recommendations, alongside the DCMS's reactions. Below we comment briefly on these reactions. Please expand or comment on our points.
"The creative, knowledge economy is a key global driver for economic prosperity. The UK's creative industries are a real success story. They are one of the economy's fastest growing sectors - contributing over £56 billion to the UK in 2004, accounting for over 7% of GDP, supporting 1.8 million jobs, and growing at an average of 5% per year between 1997 and 2004, compared to an average of 3% for the economy as a whole during that period."
- Notes recent publication of the Work Foundation's report Staying Ahead: The Economic Performance of the UK's creative industries
Recommendation 1 'Creative Commons
Delighted to see further official validation and legitimation of CC licenses as "one of several options for copyright owners to consider when exploiting their works" - Hope to see more public information licensed under similarly permissive terms.
Recommendations 12 & 13 'Format shifting exceptions'
Delighted to see support for exception to allow format shifting for private use, and happy that will be consulting widely and emphasis elsewhere on ongoing dialogue with stakeholders. But, wish they'd hurry it up!
Recommendation 14 Levies
Unsure what to make of rejection of levies on hardware or software - surprising as common across European and music industry were maybe interested.
Recommendations 18 & 19 DRM
Delighted they're concerned to protect consumers interest against DRM, but surprised by the comments that "the market should be given the opportunity to sort this out for itself, without regulatory intervention." There has already been heavy and invasive regulatory intervention in the form of EUCD Art 6 - Anti-circumvention measures - which brought heinous provisions from the DCMA across into Europe, and prohibit bypassing copy-protection measures regardless of the underlying copy-protection. Bad for user rights / exceptions so, as part of current, periodic review by European Commission, we should be lobbying for better mechanisms for reporting and disabling 'bad DRM' (e.g. Powers to enforcement bodies where DRM over-reaches (C) protection.)
Recommendation 20 ISP liability for infringing content
Unsure what to say, but note govt don't explicitly support recommendation for an "industry-funded body with a remit to examine claims that unlicensed material is being made available on a website", and prefer to leave it to discussions between rights holders and ISPs. > Dunno, what pros / cons are there for an IWF-style body to look out for (C) infringement?
Recommendation 28 Term extension for sound recordings
“The Government appreciates the work of the Committee and the deliberation it has given to thissubject. As the Committee noted, the independent Gowers Review also considered this issue in detail and recommended that the European Commission retain a term of protection for sound recordings and performers of 50 years. The Review undertook a detailed analysis of all the arguments put forward, including the moral arguments regarding the treatment of performers. It concluded that an extension would not benefit the majority of performers, most of whom have contractual relationships requiring their royalties be paid back to the record label. It also concluded that an extension would have a negative impact on the balance of trade and that it would not increase incentives to create new works. Furthermore, it considered not just the impact on the music industry but on the economy as a whole, and concluded that an extension would lead to increased costs to industry, such as those who use music – whether to provide ambience in a shop or restaurant or for TV or radio broadcasting – and to consumers who would have to pay royalties for longer. In reaching such conclusions, the Review took account of the question of parity with other countries such as the US, and concluded that, although royalties were payable for longer there, the total amount was likely to be similar – or possibly less – as there were fewer revenue streams available under the US system.
“An independent report, commissioned by the European Commission as part of its ongoing work in reviewing the copyright acquis, also considered the issue of term. It reached the same overall conclusion on this matter as the Gowers Review.
“Taking account of the findings of these reports, which carefully considered the impact on the economy as a whole, and without further substantive evidence to the contrary, it does not seem appropriate for the Government to press the Commission for action at this stage.”
- Bloody great