HC 743 Support for the creative economy

Further written evidence submitted by the Alliance for Intellectual Property [SCE 061a]


We write in relation to the Select Committee’s ongoing inquiry into Support for the Creative Industries.  You will be aware that on 20th December the Government published ‘Modernising Copyright’ which sets out its policy intention with regards to copyright exceptions. 


‘Modernising Copyright’ contains revised impact assessments for each of the proposed exceptions. These significantly downgrade the economic benefits of the proposed changes from those espoused by Professor Ian Hargreaves.


The Hargreaves Report states that the minimum benefit of the proposed changes to copyright law would be £4bn.  In ‘Modernising Copyright’ it is £0.5bn.  The Hargreaves Report states that the maximum benefit of the proposed changes would be £26bn.  This figure in 'Modernising Copyright' is £0.79bn.  These equate to reductions of 87% and 97% respectively and yet these reforms are still positioned as being of great economic benefit to the UK.


We also wish to draw to the Committee’s attention the fact that the Government, in response to a series of Written Questions, has disclosed that it intends to leave important definitions in the new exceptions undefined in the regulations, with any clarification deliberately being left to the courts.  No evaluation of the costs of the inevitable legal action that will be required to clarify these laws in the courts has been included in the impact assessments. 

We believe these costs are likely to be significant and should have been included in the latest impact assessments. Without them the economic benefit, the driving reason for these changes, remains over estimated and the impact assessments incomplete. This significant outstanding gap in the Government’s analysis must be filled in order for the technical review of the draft regulations to be properly informed.

March 2013

Prepared 18th March 2013