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26/03/2012

Copyright Laws Stifle Creative Innovation

The UK's current copyright laws are being blamed for stifling innovation and growth in the creative sector.
In letter signed by big names like Google's Dan Cobley and university heads it is noted that if the laws are changed then the UK will be able to compete on a world platform.
"Our copyright system is flawed. It limits growth, puts our cultural heritage at risk, holds back scientific discovery, and stifles our country's great comedic tradition of parody," explained the letter.
"As the law stands, transferring music from a CD to an MP3 player for your own use is illegal. Based on a real case, the inventor of a British iPod would attract legal threats instead of investment…
"By making everyday private copying of the music, films and e-books consumers have paid for legal, copyright law will regain relevance in the eyes of consumers and allow today's technology start-ups to compete with their European and US rivals."
Not Everyone Is Happy
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association however has said that there is a direct correlation between strong copyright law and the UK’s world-class creative sector.
Ms Carey claims that if the law is changed to intervene in the video market the British film industry will be undermined.
She said: "The £2.3 billion video entertainment industry is just one part of this – it's the third largest in the world and generates the greatest single funding stream for the UK film industry... but it all depends on copyright.
"Our independent production sector, our post-production and special effects, the jobs of tens of thousands of skilled people and our ability to attract inward investment all depend on the audiovisual industry's unique and evolving eco-system.
"If the law is changed to intervene in our market, all this will be undermined."
She believes that measures put in place to remove internet piracy - for example private copying- have not taken into account the impact on the British film industry.
The BVA therefore fundamentally disagrees with the argument for a private copy exception for video entertainment and finds the suggestion that up to £2 billion additional GDP could be created.
This news comes as the head of a body, which represents film distributors in the UK, has demanded that internet search engines remove access to pirate sites which cost the industry hundred of millions of pounds each year.
The president of the UK Film Distributors' Association, Lord Puttnam, has said that those using internet links to pirated films should be educated on the damage it will do to the UK film industry and called for improved copyright enforcement in the digital age, and for consideration of EC plans for pan-European licensing.
"A vital step for the technology sector is to signpost legitimate search options far more clearly and to delete links to sites that promote illegally sourced content," said Puttnam.
(LB)
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