IFPI rejects Gowers' recommendations on copyright term as a "missed opportunity"
London, 6th December 2006
IFPI today called on the UK Government to reject recommendations by Andrew Gowers that would leave British record producers and performers with a substantially shorter term of copyright protection than exists in the US and many other countries.
IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said:
"On the key issue on which Andrew Gowers might have steered the British Government to promote one of its most successful industries, his recommendation has missed a golden opportunity.
"Equalisation of copyright term is the issue which goes to the heart of the Government's claim to value the British music industry. It is illogical and discriminatory that British artists and producers should enjoy less copyright protection than their counterparts internationally as well as British composers and songwriters.
"We believe that the government should firmly reject Gowers' recommendation and we will carry on pressing for parity and fairness in advance of the European Union's legislative review. Granting copyright parity would be a simple and cost-free way to improve the investment climate for British music, maintain Britain's creative edge and end discrimination against British artists and producers."
IFPI is also reviewing other elements of the Gowers recommendations, especially those dealing with the vital area of copyright enforcement.
Among the areas of interest is the focus on the role of ISPs - the gatekeepers of the online world - in helping curb copyright infringement on the internet. The Gowers Review is calling for the Government to broker an agreement between ISPs and copyright owners for a procedure to remove users who engage in piracy, and says legislation should be considered if this does not prove effective by the end of 2007.
Recommendations that penalties for online copyright infringement should match those for physical piracy are welcomed, as are proposals to give new stepped-up anti-piracy powers to UK trading standards officers and to review the levels of damages to make sure they are "effective and dissuasive".
IFPI notes the call for clarification of the legal status of format-shifting by consumers, for example to MP3 players. The recording industry looks forward to discussing with the British government how best to move forward on this issue over the coming months.
For further information please contact Adrian Strain or Alex Jacob in the London office or Francine Cunningham in the Brussels office
Notes to editors:
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,400 major and independent companies in more than 70 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 48 countries. IFPI's mission is to fight music piracy; promote fair market access and good copyright laws; help develop the legal conditions and the technologies for the recording industry to prosper in the digital era; and to promote the value of music.