Future of Copyright debate at Stationers’ Hall
opened by James Murdoch on 8 November 2010
James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation opened the 2010 Stationers’ Industry Forum last night Monday 8 November 2010. The Forum, entitled ‘Copyright in the Digital Age: Industry Issues and Impacts’, addressed the continuing importance of copyright to the UK publishing community as it adopts and develops new digital publishing strategies and business models.
The event was staged at Stationers’ Hall which was referred to as the cradle of copyright and marked the 300th anniversary of the Statute of Anne which was introduced as “an Act for the Encouragement of Learning” in 1710. The Act followed 150 years of prior involvement in Crown-approved compliance by the Stationers’ Livery Company.
In his opening remarks James Murdoch addressed how working copyrights are a fundamental tool in encouraging investment and innovation, which support the development of a diverse and rich cultural future. Mr Murdoch commented on the importance of the rights of creators and artists, both over the use of their work and recognition for it.
Highlighting the topicality of the Forum, BBC London presenter Mike Ramsden, moderating, reflected on the remarks of the Prime Minister last week regarding the relaxation of intellectual property laws to “make them fit for the internet age” and Mr Cameron’s comments, that he would like to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner's permission. Mike Ramsden said that Mr Cameron’s remarks might be seen as a potentially devastating threat by publishers, writers and broadcasters.
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian at Oxford University, gave an overview of the 24 submissions first published on a special website, www.copyright-debate.co.uk and commented that this collection of works, now published in book form , provided an important and valuable contribution to the current debate on the future of copyright.
Panellists included John Howkins, author of The Creative Economy, Chairman of Future plc, Roger Parry, and Kevin Taylor from Cambridge University Press. Along with James Murdoch and Sarah Tomas all are contributors to the book Copyright in the Digital Age.
The event and book launch were preceded by an academic conference on Copyright in the Digital Age organised by Professor Iain Stevenson of University College London with addresses by Professor Catherine Seville, Newnham College, Cambridge; Professor John Feather, Loughborough University; Professor Simon Eliot, University of London; and Richard Balkwill, publisher.