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.
THE BBC AS
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
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