Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Written Evidence

Letter from the Creators' Rights Alliance

  The Creators' Rights Alliance thanks the House of Lords Select Committee on BBC Charter Review for the opportunity to respond to the extended inquiry looking at specific areas of the BBC. We would also like to draw the Committee's attention to our submission to the original inquiry. In this we outlined our very real concerns about the treatment of freelance creators and their rights by independent producers supplying programmes to the BBC. Our response was not solely about engagement abuses. It was also concerned with moral and intellectual property rights and abusive and coercive contract practices.

  In this extended inquiry we have limited our response to the area of most direct relevance to the affiliated members of the Creators' Rights Alliance.


  1.  The Creators' Rights Alliance believes the BBC has an equally important role to play as both producer/commissioner and broadcaster. (We see "broadcaster" in the widest possible context of the word, ie not limited to radio, television and the Internet but to new and yet to be developed platforms too.)

  2.  By being involved in both areas at the same time the BBC is in an excellent position to develop content that works for new platforms and also to develop new platforms for new types of content. Throughout its history the BBC has been adept at meeting these challenges to the benefit of licence fee payers and we strongly believe that it should continue to do so.

  3.  We fear that if the BBC's services are limited to either producer/commissioner or broadcaster it will not be able to provide an impartial public service. Also there would seem to be little point in establishing a separate public service organisation to take on one of the areas while the BBC maintains the other.

  4.  Equally we are concerned that it will no longer be a reliable source of training and development of new talent in the industry should it no longer have key responsibility for both functions and, essentially from our perspective, act as an example of ethical practices in terms of the treatment of freelance creators and their rights.

5 October 2005

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