Memorandum submitted by the Musicians'
We attach below the Musicians' Union's comments
on public service broadcasting. I hope that the Select Committee
find these useful. We would be pleased to expand on these comments
should the Select Committee wish us to.
We briefly comment on two matters that we would
wish to pursue further with the Committee. There is first the
reference to defining and providing "public service"
broadcasting. We have for decades been one of the organisations
that has supported the concept of public service broadcasting,
by which we have meant a service that is accessible to all in
the community and that is not solely concerned with minimising
costs and maximising income (commendable though these objectives
might be for some enterprises) but has larger social objectives
such as cultural provision, education, information, entertainment,
and not least to champion fair business practice and respect for
creators' rights. It has always seemed to us that one characteristic
of such a service is that it produces a significant part of its
programme output, thus nurturing the country's creative talents.
It does not, that is to say, merely recirculate recorded material,
whether sound recordings or audio visual material, produced by
and reflective of commercially dominated industries. With the
rapid and widespread development of multichannel digital broadcasting
coupled with on-demand delivery through global networks it becomes,
from the musician's point of view, more necessary than ever to
distinguish "public service broadcasting" from other
media. We have, in the WIPO discussions, sought to persuade governments
to separate 'near on-demand' channels from "traditional"
We have secured an exclusive intellectual property
right, the "making available" right, both in the 1996
Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WIPO) and in Directive 2001/29/EC
for on-demand supply by digital interactive services. We do not
yet have such a right for broadcasting, since the provisions for
that service were designed when 'public service broadcasting'
was the norm. There is now, of course, a growing number of multi-channel
delivery systemsfor example for commercial recordswhich
provide to the consumer a service that is almost the same as an
interactive service. It would be, in our view, entirely inappropriate
for these services to have the same preferential treatment in
the matter of intellectual property rights as do the public service
7 December 2001