The UK has the largest creative sector in the EU, and relative to GDP probably the largest in the world.(Source: The Work Foundation 2007)
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Intellectual Property Matters
Intellectual Property (IP) is the value our businesses hold - without it the whole sector is simply not viable.
The CCC represents small and medium sized enterprises. These are the innovators and entrepreneurs that take financial risks to create content. They rely on IP protection and enforcement to ensure that the value of their ideas and products is not stolen; and to enable future innovation and content.
Significant capital is required upfront to get ventures off the ground. For example in film and television, producers have to finance their productions in advance by mortgaging the rights that can be exploited.
The IP framework helps to ensure this money can be recouped from the sales of the product at various stages throughout its life cycle. But there are no guarantees. If the product is a flop, the company has to accept the loss and bear the consequences. If it is a success, then the investor - who owns the idea, funded the production, employed people in the process and contributed to UK tax receipts - should be entitled to the revenue their product generates.
Yet these creators, who employ hundreds of thousands of people, face a massive diminution of revenue because of copyright theft. That revenue cannot then be ploughed back into new innovations and products employing more people.
Websites offering ‘free’ unauthorised content are no modern-day Robin Hoods. They are a threat to the development of an attractive online market for content. Ultimately, illegal activities on the internet hamper artists’ ability to create, generate new ideas and innovate. It threatens entrepreneurialism, economic growth, social and commercial innovation.
Here are some specific examples of how copyright theft has affected businesses in the creative sector:
Television: In one month there were 400,000 attempts to illegally download just one episode of the hit-drama Spooks.
Books: The Publishers Association has registered copyright infringements of more than 33,000 of its members’ titles, and has issued more than 88,000 take-down notices to web portals.
Music: More than 33m albums and 10m singles were downloaded illegally in the UK in the first half of 2012- a £500m loss in UK annual music sales