IP 'at heart' of creative industries, says PA

IP 'at heart' of creative industries, says PA

Publishing chiefs, including Hachette’s Tim Hely Hutchinson, HarperCollins’ Victoria Barnsley and Random House’s Gail Rebuck, are among contributors to the Publishers Association’s submission to the Independent Review of Intellectual Property.

The PA has delivered its submission of evidence today [4th March] to Professor Ian Hargreaves—who is heading the review—with case studies of digital content and industry experience supporting its argument that “the present intellectual property regime provides a fundamental support to the creative individuals and companies which drive innovation and growth.”

Hely Hutchinson backs the PA’s stance, saying: “Intellectual property is at the heart of making creative businesses viable. Without it there would be no incentive for publishing or exporting.” Barnsley called the opportunities opening up for digital publishing “fundamentally dependent upon copyright”, with Rebuck saying: “With the publishing sector in a transitional phase to a mix of physical and digital, stability in the IP regime which governs that is vital.”

The PA is also submitting the case studies section of its evidence, displaying digital innovation in the industry, as  an enhanced e-book. PA chief executive Richard Mollet said: “It’s all about showing these things in a natural habitat. . .Our concern is that it [innovation] isn't widely known about.”

The case studies, running across eight pages of the submission, include Wiley’s “CliffNotes to Go” apps, Penguin’s “Spot Goes to School” picture book app and Bloomsbury’s Public Libary Online.

The submission also sets out the PA view that the adoption of the Fair Use principle in the UK could cause a barrage of legal challenges. It advises the implementation of existing amendments such as those from the Gowers Review, and also for Ofcom to complete its review of the Digital Economy Act.

Mollet said: “We are presenting the review team with a strong and credible case that copyright does not need to be radically reformed, and that innovation and growth in the sector requires stability.” The submission will be available online on the PA’s website.

Hargreaves is expected to report his findings to the government by mid-April.