Gowers Review of Intellectual Property - statement by John Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of IFPI
27th November, 2006
"If the Gowers Review has indeed decided not to recommend the equalisation of the Copyright Term then that is a big disappointment, but not a complete surprise to the music industry. There have been rumours for a time - founded or unfounded - that Mr Gowers did not think it appropriate.
"However, this report is only a recommendation, and it is the government that will make the final decision.
"At the end of the day, it will be an interesting test of how future Labour governments will conduct business. The UK music industry has thrived over the years, producing great talent, paying taxes, generating employment and maximising overseas revenues. The music industry is facing tremendous challenges but even now the UK music industry punches above its weight on the international stage.
"I have often asked on behalf of the UK music industry: "Shouldn't we have a government that each day, when it comes to work, asks itself "What can we do for industry?'" Copyright equalisation is one of the few things the music industry has seriously asked the government for over the years.
"Now the Treasury has to decide whether or not it wants to support one of its successful industries.
"If the UK government decides not to support copyright equalisation, then the music industry will have to continue its campaign in Europe. There the signs are encouraging but there is no doubt that there will be raised eyebrows and the question will be asked "˜Why should Europe help the music industry when the government of the most important music market in Europe and the government of EMI has decided not to?'
"UK and European governments give speech after speech talking about the importance of the knowledge economy. A decision not to equalise the Copyright Term would confirm that there is no real belief in these words. We have let our manufacturing industry slip away. Will we now show the same lack of support for our creative industries?"