Support for the creative economy

Written evidence submitted by the Incorporated Society of Musicians [SCE 047]


1. The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s professional body for musicians. We champion the importance of music and protect the rights of those working within music through a range of services, campaigns, support and practical advice. We are a wholly independent, non profit-making organisation. Without political interference or financial imperatives we express robust and authoritative views which champion both music and professional musicians.

2. Our members come from all branches of the profession-performers and composers working in a variety of different disciplines and genres; private, peripatetic and classroom music teachers; academics, advisers, music managers, music technology professionals, music therapists, and music administrators.

3. We also have other levels of membership for students and those just starting out in the profession as well as for bodies such as schools, conservatoires and orchestras and those who simply want to support our work as advocates of music.

4. Our diverse corporate membership of over 100 organisations includes a significant number of education institutions including all the UK music conservatoires, several universities and specialist music schools. It also includes the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), Yamaha, Classic FM, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), Trinity Guildhall, the International Artists Managers Association (IAMA), the Royal Philharmonic Society, the Music Industries Association (MIA), Oxford University Press (OUP) and other publishers as well as one of the leading contemporary classical record companies.

About this submission

5. The ISM is a member of the Creators’ Rights Alliance (CRA), British Copyright Council (BCC), Creative Coalition Campaign (CCC), the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) and Council for Subject Associations (CfSA).

6. Our submission should be seen as complementary to submissions from any of these organisations.

Strategy and economic significance

7. Policy making for the creative economy must be joined up and considered as a whole. As an example of where this has not happened, we find it puzzling that, on the one hand, the Department for Education should omit music from the English Baccalaureate whilst on the other hand, the Creative Industries Council, Chaired by Vince Cable and Jeremy Hunt (the then Culture Secretary), should criticise the omission of creative industry relevant subjects-such as music-from the EBacc league table. A joined up approach between the creative economy, intellectual property and education is needed to ensure that a skilled workforce is developed and a sustainable creative economy is maintained.

8. The economic value of the creative economy is well recognised and we will not repeat the wealth of data available. However, we strongly recommend the committee consider the Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music report Adding up the UK music industry [1] and the UK Music report on tourism [2] .

Intellectual Property

9. We support the submissions by the Creative Coalition Campaign of which we are members and the Creators’ Rights Alliance, of which we are also members.

10. Copyright protects the value of creators’ works. This value is what enables individuals to work as creators, receive remuneration for their work and contribute to the economy. Creators are a key driver of growth. At its heart the creative economy must enable individual creators to benefit from their work. The content produced by creators drives growth; the ability to exploit their own work is crucial to a sustainable creative economy.

11. This accords with the IPO’s recognition that ‘without copyright protection British creators and creative industries, from film directors to video game developers, would have less incentive to create new works, to the detriment of the UK’s culture and economy.’

12. With regards to copyright exceptions the potential damage caused by creating arbitrary exceptions to copyright-as proposed by Hargreaves, and the undermining of copyright by a growth in exceptions would be directly damaging to individual creators as well indirectly, through the message it would send out.

13. Copyright should not be seen as red-tape; it is a long established mechanism for the protection of property rights in respect of the work created by creators. The music world is a complex interconnected world where creators work closely with performers and educators. It is a delicate balance and any undermining of copyright would inevitably undermine this complex ecology. The teacher in the classroom through the use of licenses to use copyright material stimulates the creativity of our school children. In time some of these pupils will develop into creators in their own right, creating their own content to be exploited and generate wealth. The interconnectedness between these different worlds is something we constantly see at the ISM and needs to be nurtured and not undermined by proposals to extend exceptions to copyright.

14. Echoing a point made by Mike Holderness at a Westminster Forum, we would point out that, with the advent of 3D printing, the importance of intellectual property will extend far beyond the current creative economy to any item which can be copied and replicated many times over. With this in mind, the Hargreaves assumption that the current IP framework is flawed is not acceptable, and the view that IP protection such as copyright is regulation is also unacceptable.

15. Evidence is crucial to these discussions and the evidence base for some of the proposed changes from the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property is flawed. We would also direct the committee’s attention to the Oxford Economics report commissioned by the Alliance for Intellectual Property.

16. Technology is crucial to music education, as highlighted in a recent subject report by Ofsted. The proposals to exempt education institutions from licensing are not keeping up with developments and putting at risk the need for solutions to be ‘future-proof’.

17. The right to remuneration-regardless of what a work is being used for, or who is using the work-is a vital component of the music professional’s income. Many of the problems identified originally by Hargreaves are either not problems or are being tackled by collecting societies and the creative industries already in a voluntary manner. As such, our response to many of the proposals is that the current situation, in which lots of activity is being undertaken, is suitable. It is inaccurate of the Intellectual Property Office consultation, to suggest that there is an option to ‘do nothing.’

18. Some of the proposals in the Intellectual Property Office consultation would undermine the ability of musicians-many of whom are already on low incomes-from being able to protect and receive proper remuneration for their own creative endeavours. In turn, this would undermine growth by reducing incentives for creativity within this central part of the economy.

Education policy

19. Will Page, former Chief Economist for PRS for Music, writing in the ISM’s Music Journal (November/December 2011): ‘Music is one of the few genuine export success stories the UK can claim ... the question is this: against a backdrop of falling sales, who is putting the time, money and expertise into developing the arena, festival and stadium acts of the future.’

20. The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) league table was introduced by the Secretary of State for Education in 2010. The table ranks schools by attainment in the five subject areas of Maths, English, Sciences, Languages (Ancient and Modern), and Humanities (defined as only History or Geography). It does not include Music or any other creative/arts subject.

21. It is now proposed that the full English Baccalaureate will be awarded to pupils who have achieved a certificate in all of the five subject areas. It does not include Music or any other creative/arts subject. New English Baccalaureate Certificates have been proposed which will initially be created for the five subject areas but could eventually be extended to other subjects. These proposals were introduced by Michael Gove on 17 September 2012. The consultation ends on 10 December.

22. The first and second of these initiatives will steer pupils to study particular subjects and create incentives for schools to narrow the range of subjects on offer. This is having a negative impact on uptake in these subjects.

23. In September 2011, the ISM conducted a survey of its teaching members working in and out of schools. We had 543 respondents in total with 300 respondents to the questions on the impact of the EBacc. The results were as follows:

What impact has the introduction of the E-Bacc had on music education since its introduction at the beginning of 2011?

A very harmful impact


A harmful impact


No impact


A positive impact


A very positive impact


Of those responses:

76.5% cited fewer pupils selecting music at GCSE

51.8% cited a change in attitudes from other teachers

27.1% cited timetable changes

26.7% cited staffing changes

24. Figures [3] show that 46,368 students took GCSE music in 2012 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, down from 48,099 in 2011. In England the decline is from 43,127 in 2011 to 41,511 [4] in 2012 and we have further anecdotal evidence if desired by the committee. The Department for Education’s own research [5] supports these findings.

25. The CBI and Creative Industries Council [6] , have already expressed concern over the absence of creative and cultural subjects from the EBacc league table. Higher education institutions such as Trinity College, Cambridge [7] back a broader range of subjects and why the Russell Group advice [8] on post-16 qualifications-which can be misunderstood or misrepresented-also states that ‘there are subjects, like economics and music, which are highly regarded by [their] institutions.’ [9]

26. We would like to draw the Select Committee’s attention to the Bacc for the Future campaign and the broad coalition of support [10] it already enjoys from organisations including the BPI, Dance UK, Exhibition Road, Shakespeare’s Globe, Music Industries Association, UK Music, National Drama and the National Society of Education in Art and Design.

27. It is our conclusion that the EBacc must include a sixth pillar of creative subjects if it is to support the creative economy.

28. This solution is backed by Darren Henley. Darren was appointed by Michael Gove to lead a review of music education in September 2010. In the Review of Music Education [11] which was published in February 2011, Darren Henley said that ‘music should be included as one of the subjects that go to make up the new English Baccalaureate’ to avoid a ‘risk that the subject may be devalued’. In his subsequent Cultural Education Review [12] , he argued for ‘the creation of a sixth grouping of subjects [to be] included in the English Baccalaureate ... to create a generation of fully rounded individuals.’

Live Music

29. The implementation of the Live Music Act is wholly welcome and will resolve many of the concerns around the Licensing Act 2003 which had, as the committee is aware, caused a great deal of difficulty for many musicians. The ISM has submitted a substantial amount of evidence regarding this policy and we are delighted that the Act was finally implemented on 1 October 2012.


30. The creative economy should be regarded as a single entity and education policy should reflect the priority rightly placed on the creative economy by the current Government. Government should also ensure that the bedrock of the creative economy, namely, intellectual property and the ability to profit from one’s work is not undermined by unnecessary, counter-productive or ill-informed proposals to reform copyright protections.

November 2012









[9] Source: Informed Choices Video , 2:38, available at




Prepared 17th November 2012