Ahead of World Intellectual Property Day, Tom Kiehl, acting chief executive officer, UK Music, has written an open letter discussing the vital link between intellectual property and music.
He writes: ‘The impact of coronavirus has highlighted more than ever the financial vulnerability of many of those who create the music we love.
‘As many as 72% of those working in the creative industries are self-employed and this pandemic has hit them extremely hard. Many were earning less than the national living wage before the virus struck.
‘The music industry have joined forces to support those in need. The Musicians’ Union, PRS For Music, Help Musicians and AIM have all opened hardship funds, with others such as PPL and the BPI making and organising vital donations.
‘Legions of music fans are doing their best to support, getting involved in schemes like Record Store Day Fill The Gap and Virtual Pints. Musicians, singers, producers, songwriters and engineers will continue to need our support going forward if we want the UK’s music industry to remain the envy of the world.
‘The message is clear - by supporting what you love, you invest in creating more of it.'
‘World Intellectual Property Day, which takes place on Sunday (April 26), serves as a great reminder of how we all can support our music creators. The initiative encourages us all to learn about the role intellectual property can play in encouraging innovation and creativity.
‘The music industry’s intellectual property is based on copyright. Copyright is a key economic tool that provides incentives for businesses to invest in creativity and enables creators to secure remuneration for their work.
‘All of us can help support music creators by ensuring that we are getting our music from legitimate sources. The Get It Right campaign, backed by the BPI, encourages everyone to get their content from a genuine service and support UK creativity in the process.
‘The message is clear - by supporting what you love, you invest in creating more of it. It’s not just about the development of new ideas from the artists you love, it’s also about protecting the talent pipeline on which the music industry relies, allowing the industry to reinvest in new talent.
‘In recent years UK Music, along with our members, have worked hard to ensure Government ministers understand and support the Copyright Directive. The European Union have prioritised the need to secure high standards of protection for intellectual property rights as part of the Copyright Directive to give creators and those that in invest in them better protection over how their original work is used online.
‘It’s vital we all remember the fundamental link between intellectual property and the music we all love so much.'
‘The last Conservative Government played a key role in developing the Directive and agreeing to its proposals yet the new administration is now not implementing it given the UK has left the European Union.
‘If Brexit is to provide opportunities for the music industry then we must make the UK home to the world’s strongest copyright framework. This can be achieved by improving the way creators and those that invest in them are financially rewarded for the use of music online.
‘There is reason to be hopeful with many ministers showing their commitment to protecting copyright. In January former Culture Minister Nigel Adams told the House of Commons that it is ‘absolutely imperative’ to protect the industry’s ‘brilliant creators’, while in response to a letter I sent, new Minister for IP Amanda Solloway said she agreed that ‘music creators need to be fairly remunerated by platforms when their works are used online'.
‘It’s vital we all remember the fundamental link between intellectual property and the music we all love so much.
‘A strong copyright framework will ensure that those that create our music will be better supported in the future and that is something we should all welcome.’