Support for the creative economy

Written evidence submitted by Penkat Studio [SCE 055]


1. This submission contains views for the following issues;

1. How best to develop the legacy from the Olympics and Paralympics of the display of UK talent in the creative industries in both Opening and Closing ceremonies and more generally in the design of the Games.

2. Barriers to growth in the creative industries-such as difficulties in accessing private finance-and the ways in which Government policy should address them. Whether lack of co-ordination between government departments inhibits this sector.

3. The impact on the creative industries of the independent Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, and the Government’s Response to it. The impact of the failure, as yet, to implement the Digital Economy Act, which was intended to strengthen copyright enforcement. The impact of proposals to change copyright law without recourse to primary legislation (under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently before Parliament).

4. Ways to establish a strong skills base to support the creative economy, including the role of further and higher education in this.

5. The importance of "clusters" and "hubs" in facilitating innovation and growth in the creative sector. Whether there is too much focus on hubs at the expense of encouraging a greater geographical spread of companies through effective universal communication.

6. The work of the Creative Industries Council and other public bodies responsible for supporting the sector.

2. Penkat Studio is an independent production studio located in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Penkat Studio specialises in a range of television and film production, including services to large scale broadcasters. Penkat Studio believes the Expansion and progression of SME’s would be negatively impacted if the creative producers rights are not maintained.

3. The issues listed above [1.1-1.6] have come to the interest of Penkat Studio as each issue has had a significant impact on the operational basis of the business. The legacy of creative talent should be cherished and encouraged to grow from national and worldwide events, such as the Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies, although this is hampered via a combination of the different issues that have been cited in 1.3, 1.5 & 1.6. The following viewpoints are also outlined in the ‘ICOMP Submission Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth’ [1] .

1. Penkat Studio feels that the proposals outlined in the independent Hargreaves Review [1.3] needs to support independent content makers to ensure that original content and their creators are protected from the exploitation of content hosts.

2. There needs to be system to balance the rights of the content creator and User Generated Content Sites. These same sites need to be held accountable for false copyright infringement claims. Penkat Studio has been affected by copyright claims against videos and music work that has been legally bought and paid for through royalty free agencies, many of these copyright claims are handled through automated systems on User Generated Content Sites, these organisations should be encouraged to investigate each claim thoroughly before siding with a false complainant. Penkat Studio has encountered this with UMG and YouTube despite buying royalty free music from a third party organisation.

3. London is one of the most dense media production hubs in the United Kingdom. Changes within ‘Film London’ introduced new barriers that prevent production companies from easily operating within the city. Previously, production companies used to apply for permits from ‘Film London’, these were then submitted to the appropriate boroughs for authorisation. This process no longer takes place; if a production company wishes to film within several boroughs, the production company must apply to each borough individually for a filming permit & authorisation to use equipment, such as tripods. This change introduces a barrier for those that work outside London, Penkat Studio feels that if the services of Film London returned to their previous workflow it would allow new content creators easier access to the capital.

4. The role of education [1.4] must focus on the real world application of media production to ensure that graduates have the best skills pedigree before they enter the workplace. It has come to the attention that many students lack basic skills and knowledge after leaving higher education to participate within a real world working environment. Career guidance and prospects should be part of the higher educational system to ensure that future media creators have a clear picture of the media production sector.

4. Penkat Studio believes that the future for the creative economy can be kick started by giving more practical education for those that are going through further and higher education. Elements such as allowing more freedom in regards to shooting within London would also help nurture creative talent. Creativity needs to be protected from those that actively abuse the original content creators. Copyright claims and the processes of how claims also need to be reviewed to ensure that creators get fair treatment from User Generated Content Sites.

November 2012

[1] The ICOMP Submission is available at

Prepared 17th November 2012