Letter to PM on the impact of signing the CPTPP on UK creative economy
Ownership of copyright is the foundation upon which creators make their income – you own the right to copy your work, and you licence your clients to use the commissioned artwork for specific uses. The UK has a strong copyright regime – copyright lasts for 70 years after your death (it’s only 50 years in come countries), we have a system of ‘fair dealing‘ which is a yardstick to help establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. The USA has ‘fair use’, which basically says a court has to decide whether something is an infringement or not – and not many creatives can afford to take someone to court.
So it’s very important that when the UK Government sets up or joins existing trade agreements with other countries, that our strong copyright is not used as a bargaining tool that potentially reduces the protections and rights creators have in their works.
We have reported on AOI’s involvement with the British Copyright Council over the concerns around the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) here, whose signatories do not all have the UK’s robust copyright regime, and we are also signatories to a letter to the Prime Minister from DACS Design and Artists Copyright Society (the organisation that runs Payback) on the negative impact of signing CPTPP on the UK’s creative economy. Other signatories to this letter are the Association of Photographers and the Society of Authors.
Having examined the intellectual property provisions of the draft CPTPP, DACS have detailed their key findings to the PM (below), and have also provided her with a detailed briefing document, which you can see here CPTPP briefing – DACS AOI AOP SoA
– The UK, Europe and the USA all prioritise the export of new creative content, whereas signatories to the CPTPP are often users of creative content. The CPTPP reflects this reality, so we must make sure that any trade deal does not restrict our ability to export UK creativity.
– The Intellectual Property chapter provides inadequate recognition for creators. It attacks creators’ rights as ‘abusive’, rather than recognising their role in sustaining our creative economy.
– We support language that balances the importance of creators’ rights alongside the need for users to access content. The CPTPP replaces this language with ‘a balance of rights and obligations’ in the interest or promotion of technological advances. This fails to recognise the need for creators to generate income from their work, alongside the rights of consumers to access content.
– The CPTPP signatory nations only represent 7% of UK trade, which is an insufficient gain compared to the devastating loss that the CPTPP will inflict on the UK’s economy.
The DACS letter can be seen here CPTPP letter – DACS AOI AOP SoA, and the Briefing document for the Prime Minister here CPTPP briefing – DACS AOI AOP SoA