Ministers urged to do more for creative firms

The coalition government’s track-record of supporting the UK’s creative industries is no better than “mixed,” according to a leading industry executive.

Writing for a Lib Dem newspaper, Jo Dipple, the chief executive of UK Music, explained that there were both positives and negatives in the coalition’s offerings to the creative industry.

The Creative Industries Council; the passing of the Live Music Act and tax breaks for creative companies, notably those in four sectors, are all “on the plus side,” she wrote in The Liberal Democrat Voice.

But the government’s proposals on copyright – “the economic framework which underpins the creative sector” – are potentially damaging and threaten the sector’s ability to innovate in the digital era.

“Many of the reforms emanating from the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth seek to address problems that do not exist and are based on spurious economic projections,” argued Ms Dipple.

“[The latest draft of these proposed changes]…devalue creators and performers rights. A further formal consultation on proposed changes to the law is surely necessary in order to safeguard the future of industries worth £36billion.”

The music industry boss also spoke of “huge problems” with the way that the Office of National Statistics accounts for, and measures, creative industries such as hers.

“[We] supplied ONS with a database of 11,229 businesses and only 12% were correctly matched to the industrial code relating to the music industry. Half of the businesses were not found at all.

“This is significant as it means policy decisions are made by Government that impact our sector without a true grasp of the industries’ actual importance.”

Her criticism is in line with the findings of a report commissioned by Google into digital businesses, which found almost 270,000 firms to be operating in the sector, significantly more than the 120,000 recognised by the ONS.

Ms Dipple appealed: “An opportunity exists for the Government to work with the creative sector on defining and measuring the true value of sectors like music. The Coalition should be the first Government to truly acknowledge the creative industries growth potential.”

 

18th September 2013

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