Support for the creative economy

Written evidence submitted by the British Library [SCE 078]

1. Summary

· The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom. Our mission is to advance the world’s knowledge and we believe that ‘knowledge creates the new’. By opening up and connecting people to our collections we aim to inspire and enable more people to carry out research, create new businesses and develop their ideas.

· The Library is a catalyst for creativity and supports over 10,000 creative practitioners from the point of inspiration to researching their products and services, through to commercialisation of their ideas.

· The Library has a unique offering for the creative industries since it helps people at all stages of their business. The Library works with a number of partners in providing and improving its services.

· The British Library operates at the fulcrum of the copyright balance. It has an interest in ensuring that British IP law simultaneously promotes the UK’s R&D sector and protects the interests of British creators.

· Many users from the creative industries are interested in repurposing content for their projects. Large parts of the Library’s collections are within copyright and their use can be unnecessarily trammelled if the rights clearance process is overly lengthy, complex or unsuccessful.

· The British Library welcomed the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property Growth and is pleased that the Government has begun to implement the recommendations. These will facilitate mass digitisation by streamlining rights clearance, allow the Library to preserve its collections and enable modern day research activities to be lawful

· The Hargreaves Review found that SMEs are not sufficiently well served by those providing advice and information on Intellectual Property Rights. The British Library’s Business & IP Centre provides free IP information and advice to entrepreneurs and SMEs, with subsidised workshops and free one-to-one advice.

· In relation to skills, the British Library enables creatives to use research to develop and add value to their work. It offers access to an unparalleled collection of material and a range of research services.

· The Library has a role to play in helping creative practitioners to be more business savvy, sustainable and profitable through its Business & IP Centre. More than 20% of the users of the Centre are from the creative and media sectors.

2. Introduction

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. We acquire, preserve and give access to over 150 million items, ranging from historical manuscripts, books, journals and maps to patents, sound recordings, photographs and the latest digital media.

The Library is a source of inspiration, a resource for research and a driver of innovation for a wide range of sectors: higher education and academia, business, entrepreneurs and SMEs, schools and lifelong learning, the general public, and the creative industries.

Our mission is to advance the world’s knowledge and we believe that ‘knowledge creates the new’. By opening up and connecting people to our collections-through innovative digitisation projects, research, learning and business programmes-we aim to inspire and enable more people to carry out research, create new businesses and develop their ideas, benefiting the whole of society.

Established by its own Act of Parliament in 1972, the British Library operates as a non-departmental public body, accountable to Parliament and under the arm’s length supervision of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

We are responding to two particular areas of interest to the Committee where the Library has evidence to contribute:

· ‘The impact on the creative industries of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (including the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill)’

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

3. The British Library and Creative Industries

The British Library is a catalyst for creativity and supports creative practitioners from the point of inspiration to researching their products and services, right through to commercialisation. There are over 10,000 creative users of the Library’s resources including authors and writers, artists, film-makers, designers and those from the theatre and performing arts. More than 20% of the users of the Library’s Business & IP Centre are from the creative and media sectors.

We know, for example, that double Man Book winner Hilary Mantel used the Library while writing Wolf Hall. Our previous Chief Executive, Dame Lynne Brindley, wrote in 2010: "Hilary Mantel, a regular user, described how, in writing Wolf Hall, she could find out much about Thomas Cromwell's public life, but little about his private life. So she built an "edifice of speculation" on a foundation of evidence: the standard historical texts, biographies and Cromwell's correspondence." [1]

The Library has a unique offering for the creative industries since it helps people at all stages of their business. It is a one stop destination:

· An unparalleled collection of resources to support inspiration, innovation, research and development, with 150 million items from historic manuscripts, Japanese woodcuts, vintage knitting patterns and soundscapes of the rainforest.

· Business advice and intellectual property guidance to protect and commercialise ideas and set up (and grow) a business. A wealth of free business information with a value of £5 million and practical resources such as workshops, advice sessions and events at the Business & IP Centre.

· An inspiring programme of activities for designers, fashion designers, writers and film makers. The programme includes an annual Spring Festival, creative workshops and creative residencies.

The Library works with a number of partners in providing and improving its services for creative practitioners. These include Kings College London, Queen Mary University, London College of Fashion, Central Saint Martins, Craft Council, British Fashion Council, Design Council, London Design Festival, BBC and BFI.

The Library consistently seeks new ways to meet the needs of researchers, including those from the creative industries. Most recently, in October 2012 the British Library began piloting three new sound and moving image services in its Reading Rooms. These include a broadcast news service; a database of over 15 million listings for all UK television and radio broadcasts since 1995, developed by the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC); and the BBC Pilot Service which combines access to 2.2 million programmes from the BBC’s catalogue with the ability to watch and listen to over 225,000 off-air BBC programmes from the last five years.

Case study: Spring Festival-a celebration of creativity, fashion and design

The British Library held its first Spring Festival in March 2012 attracting over 1,800 people from across the creative sphere. It was a five day celebration of creativity, fashion and design aimed at the creative industries with workshops, talks, and a market on the piazza, attracting top names such as Quentin Blake, Neville Brody, Jamie Hewlett and Emma Bridgewater. Planning for the 2013 festival is underway.

Spring Festival attendees said:

"It drew attention to the creative work and products made by users of the Library, showing it’s not just a place to study the past or for authors."

"I absolutely loved the Spring Festival workshop at LATE, the house of illustration really brought the evening to life. I wish there were more creative evenings like this."

Case study: Clio Barnard

Clio is an artist and filmmaker whose work has been shown in cinemas, at international film festivals and at galleries including Tate Modern and MoMA, New York.

Her latest film ‘The Arbor’ was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award. It tells the true story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too) and her daughter Lorraine, revisiting the short life and harsh vision of the ‘genius straight from the slums’ who enjoyed a precocious burst of success in the 1980s.

The film attracted significant attention through its use of voices. Clio had initially discovered recordings of Andrea Dunbar in the Library’s Sound Archive. She said she "found it incredibly moving to hear her voice – the softness of it, and her youth." The human voice remains central to ‘The Arbor’ film, following interviews – sound only – that were subsequently recorded with members of the Dunbar family and others.

4. Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth

The British Library operates at the fulcrum of the copyright balance. It has a unique position as a legal deposit library, a purchaser or licensee of copyright content and materials, a licensor of its own intellectual property, and a support service to users and owners of intellectual property be that for academic research or business development. The Library has an interest in ensuring that British IP law simultaneously promotes the UK’s R&D sector and protects the interests of British creators.

Repurposing Content

Many creatives use the Library for context for their work. For example, an author could research historical facts for a novel, or a playwright might research drawings and fashion magazines for costume designs. However, many users from the creative industries are also interested in repurposing content for their projects.

The Library does have collection items that are out of copyright (and some major initiatives to make these available digitally) and the Library is also the owner of copyright in many instances, particularly in Sound and Vision. However, large parts of our collections are within copyright and their use by the creative industries can be unnecessarily trammelled if the rights clearance process is overly lengthy, complex or unsuccessful.

Hargreaves Review

The British Library welcomed the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property Growth and is pleased that the Government has begun to implement the recommendations. We are however eager, along with many in the research and academic sector that all the recommendations are implemented as soon as possible as we have already experienced international competitive disadvantage since Gowers made many of the same recommendations six years ago.

Measures that are particularly positive for the Library and its users are:

· A ‘Digital Copyright Exchange’; a marketplace for digital rights (the British Library sits on the Copyright Hub Launch group)

· A solution to orphan works and extended collective licensing to facilitate mass digitisation

· Extending exceptions in law for preservation, fair dealing for sound and film, and text and data mining

· Preventing contracts overriding copyright law (often making the flexibilities granted by Parliament null and void)

Taken together these will facilitate mass digitisation by streamlining rights clearance, allow the Library to preserve its collections and enable modern day research activities to be lawful, as standard practice in other developed countries.

In relation to the orphan works and extended collective licensing arrangements in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, the Library believes that these represent a balanced way forward, and that sufficient safeguards are proposed to protect the interests of rightholders. These include proof of a diligent search for orphan works rightsholders, opt-out measures, payment mechanisms and wide consultation by collecting societies.

The Bill will facilitate the mass digitisation of in-copyright 20th century material. This will result in a much richer research environment and our users will have access to material that is largely unavailable to them now. This will lead to greater use of the content, new discoveries and more dynamic educational environment.

Many of the Hargreaves recommendations (other than those included in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill) are already covered by the 2001 Information Society Directive, or are minor amendments to the existing framework of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. As they do not require a new act of Parliament, the appropriate process for such amendments to the CDPA is secondary legislation.

IP Advice

The Hargreaves Review also found that SMEs are not sufficiently well served by those providing advice and information on Intellectual Property Rights and recommended action to give SMEs access to lower cost IP advice.

The Library itself has found that the biggest barriers that SMEs face in protecting and exploiting their IP are finding affordable services, knowing where to go for advice and support, and the feeling that the IP system favours large companies.

The British Library’s Business & IP Centre provides free IP information and advice to entrepreneurs and SMEs, with heavily subsidised workshops and free one-to-one advice clinics. We are the library of the Patent Office, holding 60 million patent specifications from 40 countries worldwide.

A survey in February 2011 showed that over a third of respondents had used the British Library’s IP-related services which had contributed to:

· Helping them understand about IP and demystify the IP process

· Saving them time and money

· Enabling them to do their own searches on IP (e.g. patents)

· Giving them the knowledge needed to talk to an IP lawyer with confidence

5. Supporting a strong skills base

The British Library enables creatives to use research to develop and add value to their work, be it a novel, a film script or documentary, or fashion design. We offer access to an unparalleled collection of material and a range of research services, representing a vital resource in nurturing creativity and driving innovation.

As part of developing our services for the creative industries, the Library is involved in a new People, Skills, and Knowledge Exchange initiative with King's Cultural Institute (KCI) under the Creative Futures programme, bringing together academics and curatorial staff. The long term aim is to generate new forms of engagement and collaboration, test new ideas and stimulate new partnerships, ensuring that research positively impacts on the cultural sector, and, in turn, that the knowledge and expertise within the cultural and creative organisations informs and inspires new ways of thinking within the academic setting.

The Library is also a partner in the ‘Creativeworks London’ Knowledge Exchange Hub led by Queen Mary University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. We are particularly involved in the research strand looking at London's Digital Economy, exploring emerging digital technologies and new business models, as well as developing technical solutions to the challenges (such as copyright) that creative SMEs and cultural institutions face in developing and providing access to digital resources.

As well as supporting creative practitioners to be innovative, the Library gives them the skills and knowledge to commercialise their ideas. The Business & IP Centre helps creative practitioners to be more business savvy, sustainable and profitable (see below).

In a related area, the Library has also had preliminary discussions with the Technology Strategy Board’s Connected Digital Economy Catapult regarding the needs in digital economy and how key partners might work together to ensure the UK can innovate in this area. The Catapult "will encourage new and sustainable ways for digital media and content providers to generate value from their products...and help business to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the way information about our environment and physical objects is becoming available in the digital domain." [2]

Case study: Business & IP Centre

The British Library provides dedicated services for businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs through its Business & IP Centre. This includes 6,900 users from the creative industries as well as high-tech companies and inventors. The Centre provides free access to over £5 million worth of business and intellectual property information and runs a programme of workshops, one-to-one advice sessions and networking events. Significantly, it also helps users to understand the principles of intellectual property (copyright, trademarks, patents, registered designs) and their rights for their own creative work.

Since opening in 2006, the Business & IP Centre has welcomed over 300,000 entrepreneurs and SMEs including repeat visitors, and delivered advice and skills training to over 30,000 people. As a result it has helped to create 2,775 businesses, of which 40% are owned by women, 29% by ethnic minority groups and 10% by people with a disability. An additional 3,345 jobs have been created in new and existing businesses, and overall, these businesses have increased their turnover by £153 million.

Significantly, only one in ten businesses had failed after year three, compared with just under four in ten across the UK; 96% of users would recommend it to others and 84% could not have achieved their results without the Centre’s help. Between 2011 and 2014 the Library will support 150 high growth SMEs though a new ERDF-funded programme, Innovating for Growth.

Given the success of the Business & IP Centre model, the Library believes there is huge potential to expand services across the country. In 2011 a pilot service was initiated at Newcastle City Library and in 2012, the Library, working in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office, was awarded a £100,000 grant to undertake a feasibility study into how the model might be replicated in other city libraries. Discussions are ongoing with the libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle to establish a network in 2013 and 2014.

November 2012


[1] Please see www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8065521/Our-libraries-must-branch-out-into-a-world-of-tweets-and-blogs.html

[2] https://catapult.innovateuk.org/connected-digital-economy

Prepared 21st November 2012