There haven't been any Woolworth stores in the US since 1997,
--- On Fri, 12/12/08, Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Britain reverses position on copyright extension
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Friday, December 12, 2008, 9:42 AM
This speech reads like something from "Private Eye",
"Punch", or here in the States, "The Onion". I realize this
is no laughing matter, but this guy ain't no Winston Churchill. Over on the
78-L we've been given a link to a broadcast interview with Lord Gowers who
wrote the original report saying that there was no justification for extending
the copyright length, and that 50 years was already too long. It starts at 12
minutes in, and the newscast starts with the surprising news that Woolies is
closing. I bought a bunch of nice records there when I spent the summer in
London in 1983.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
Steve Abrams wrote:
> The advice I have been given is that this matter has been decided
personally by the Prime Minister, who is notorious for rejecting expert advice.
He reckons that a give-away worth several hundred millions will raise sufficient
funds to pay off the debts of the Labour party and finance the next general
> Charlie McCreavy was present at the speech by the "Culture
> Full text of declaration on copyright extension by Andy Burnham
> 12:53 | Thursday December 11, 2008
> Culture Secretary suggests extending copyright term to 70 years
> Good morning everyone.
> It's that time of year when newspapers are reviewing the year so I
thought I'd start by giving you a review of my music highlights this year.
> I've played Teenage Kicks on the guitar with Fergal Sharkey on a boat
on the Thames.
> I've said that Top of the Pops should be for life, not just for
> And, on the floor of the House of Commons, I spoke up for my talented
constituent Laura White, to my knowledge the first person to play a musical
instrument on X Factor, being unfairly voted off.
> So it must be reassuring for you all to have an intellectual heavyweight
intervening in the big music issues of the day at the heart of government.
> But, the truth is, government intervention in the music business does not
have a glorious history. To paraphrase one of our greats, mixing pop and
politics is not a straightforward business and, indeed, can be a bit
embarrassing for all concerned.
> The British music business has been a major success story with government
at arm's length, or further¨ - in something of a state of mutual distrust.
> Over the second half of the last century the industry grew into one of
real economic and cultural significance - and its output for many defined us
internationally - yet without significant government intervention or political
> But I'm going to make the case this morning that necessity means that
the old order of things needs to change.
> The time has clearly arrived when pop needs a bit of political help, when
we are all having more meetings and conversations than we've had in the
> Music has been hit hard over the last ten years, and if we don't do
something there is a real danger that parts of the music industry will be washed
> Developments in communications have changed the music world and I think we
are now at a time that calls for partnership between Government and the music
business as a whole: one with rewards for both of us; one with rewards for
society as a whole.
> Music has been a life's passion for me. When I came into this job
earlier this year, I made it a personal priority to focus on the music business
- and, hopefully, identify solutions and new models to sustain this cultural
strength throughout this century as it was in the second half of the last.
> So, the Government signalled this change of gear in February with the
publication of our Creative Britain strategy - the first proper programme of
structural support from government for the creative industries: moving from the
margins of government thinking to the mainstream. We said clearly that
legislation would be brought forward to tackle illegal downloading if acceptable
voluntary solutions did not emerge - and that remains our unequivocal position.
> It's more important than ever at this particular time when there's
pressure in the economy that we acknowledge and encourage the catalytic role
that the creative industries can have in this country. Our traditional creative
strength is an enormous competitive advantage in a changing and highly connected
> International solutions are needed and that's why one of the things
that came out of the strategy was a commitment to establishing a new network to
bring together internationally renowned talent from the creative industries -
the Creativity and Business International Network. The aim, in time, is for this
forum - c&binet - to become an annual event in Britain that's seen as
the equivalent of "Davos" for the creative industries.
> But it's not just on the government side that there has been a change
of gear. The industry has clearly been getting its act together off the stage.
> The formation of UK Music is a welcome step, as is the Featured Artists
Coalition. I don't think we could ever expect the music industry to speak
with one voice - so two isn't bad - but it does bring a lot more coherence
and makes my job easier when representing you to the rest of Government. I
recognise the progress made and welcome it.
> This is needed now more than ever as it has been a tough few years for the
music industry - and a particularly tough few weeks. This year particularly has
seen a real acceleration in the breakdown of the traditional systems that fund
creativity - the systems that have been in place for decades, particularly in TV
> The worldwide economic downturn is adding to the pressure. But it also
creates the conditions to allow fresh thinking and help it to take root. Fresh
thinking is needed to rework the old models where people handed over their money
in the record shop and it found its way into various pockets throughout the
> The music industry did very well out of my generation, both the talent and
the paying punters. Buying an album was a serious long-term strategic investment
of pocket money after weeks of studying the NME and the indie music charts. It
was such a commitment, even when you got it home and realised it wasn't
quite as good as you hoped, you had to defend it vigorously.
> The online revolution has changed all the rules and ever since we've
been struggling to catch up. For creative talent like you, it's a genuinely
double-edged sword - liberating and democratising on the one side, allowing
people to bypass the traditional gatekeepers to the creative system.
> But on the other side, what the online revolution has done is promote a
prevailing sense with the online generation that creativity is free to enjoy.
> We enjoy a whole lot more choice and opportunity - which is good. And a
lot of people enjoy all that for free - which is good for them but not for
everyone -and not good for the long term prospects for new music and new ideas,
and fresh talent coming through.
> So music has been hampered by a real sense of ambivalence towards the
internet from the off. But some of its early ideology, in my view, was
detrimental to its interests.
> There was a powerful undercurrent at the start of the internet that was
expressed in the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace written by John
Perry Barlow in 1996.
> 'Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement and
context do not apply to us.'
> But the legal concept of copyright has underpinned our creative industries
for decades, and is essential to rewarding talent and creativity.
> We are now having to confront these notions - but we need to respond in a
way that doesn't criminalise a whole generation that has come to enjoy and
explore creativity in a different way.
> We need new rules and new norms and they have to be agreed on an
international basis because that's the way the online world operates.
> My job - Government's job - is to preserve the value in the system.
Your challenge as an industry is to devise a system that is fair to the paying
public and to the performer. Making it stick might mean industry and performers
agreeing new rules and new models. But any long-term solution will have a
greater chance of sticking in the long term if bodies like the FAC can recommend
them unequivocally to their fan base.
> It may not be the first thing on Barack Obama's mind - but it is in
there as part of his cultural and creative agenda and we do have a fresh
opportunity to come to a common understanding with a new administration.
> Illegal file sharing comes under that banner, and I personally think we
are breaking new ground in this country.
> The gap between how many tracks get paid for and how many don't is
just staggering - and I think the voluntary agreements to change that are going
as well as could have been expected at this moment in time.
> ISPs are talking to music companies about this. Something they weren't
doing a year ago. And they are writing letters to illegal downloaders - which
they weren't a year ago.
> We'll have some idea of how effective that has been early in the new
year and it's important that the Memorandum of Understanding that we're
working on with ISPs and music rights holders doesn't slip.
> The voluntary approach is obviously the best way forward, but we're
working on how legislation could underpin the voluntary process if necessary in
a way that's fair and proportionate. Having come this far, I'm
determined that we bring this issue to a conclusion that works.
> Copyright underpins the music business - and all our creative industries -
and the right response when it's put under pressure is not to abandon a
system as outdated, but to make it work better.
> There is a moral case for performers benefiting from their work throughout
their entire lifetime.
> That is why I have been working with John Denham, my opposite number in
the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, to consider the
arguments for an extension of copyright term for performers from the current 50
years. An extension to match more closely a performer's expected lifetime,
perhaps something like 70 years, for example, given that most people make their
best work in their 20s and 30s.
> And we must ensure that any extension delivers maximum benefit to
performers and musicians. That's the test of any model as we go forward.
> It's only right that someone who created or contributed to something
of real value gets to benefit for the full course of their life.
> There's another moral argument that says you should have a right not
to have something you've created being associated with a cause or a brand
you're not comfortable with.
> >From a cultural point of view, it's right that Government should
be recognising and celebrating the role that performers and creators play in the
cultural life of the country.
> And from an economic point of view, the music business is one of our most
significant creative industries - and the creative industries as a whole are the
right direction to be pushing our economy at this moment in time.
> Let me be absolutely clear so there are no misconceptions about where the
Government is on this. I have been working closely with John Denham, and we both
share a real support for artists and musicians.
> We want the industry to come back with good, workable ideas as to how a
proposal on copyright extension might be framed that directly and predominantly
benefits performers - both session and featured musicians.
> I'd like to congratulate Charlie McCreevy for initially instigating
> I think you have heard already from Charlie on his proposals at the
European level and we'll be working with him to find the right approach
through copyright that rewards creators and performers, including session
> But all of this is meaningless unless we lay down the foundations in
creative education for young people, helping them to feel confident in their
> Support for talent goes to the heart of the Department for Culture. It
starts with helping more young people discover their creativity from an early
> And it's also important that industry invests back into the system to
benefit the next generation - as we have seen with the Premier League do in
> Here's an example: we've worked with Fergal when he was heading
the Live Music Forum, developing the idea of rehearsal spaces in deprived areas
around the country - places where aspiring musicians or technicians can practice
and gain experience. Places that can develop into music hubs for the community,
with links to the live music scene, community radio and the music industry
locally and nationally. The first of these should be starting up in the New Year
in Liverpool, Bristol and Manchester.
> We're putting in £500,000 and we've got commitments of support
from across the music industry - but it needs the support of musicians and
performers as well to make it work.
> Another example about how industry can put back in to the system:
we've set a goal for 5,000 new apprenticeships in the creative industries
every year to give young people a clear career path into jobs in the music
business, TV, film and so on. Not everyone gets an equal chance to break into
the music business, for one way or another.
> Apprenticeships are a way of finding and nurturing talent that might not
otherwise get discovered. Government can set the ambition, but we can't
offer the jobs - that's down to industry, and I'm delighted with the
interest that EMI and Universal have shown so far to host music industry
> Another example: we've launched a programme in schools called Find
Your Talent, as part of the commitment to give every young person five hours a
week of high-quality culture and art.
> The idea rests on getting professional creative people much more involved
with local schools and with cultural activities with young people outside
school. Using the power and the glamour associated with proven creative talent
to inspire an interest in culture and creativity - particularly in those that
either haven't had the chances in the past.
> This is, of course Department for Children, Schools and Families'
territory as well. They are putting over £300 million into funding music in
schools over the next three years including the priority for free musical
tuition for all primary school pupils. Already, it's amazing to hear that
the number of children learning an instrument looks set to have doubled over the
last three years, from 22% in September 2005 to some 50% in September 2008.
> It's through partnerships like these that we'll bring on the next
generation of talent, and which will start to change people's perceptions of
the value of creativity.
> The online world has smashed the old models apart and opened up new
opportunities for us to rebuild an industry that stands the test of time.
> It has cut out the middle men. But we still need to think through all the
consequences of that - what the new models are and how they work.
> How do we replace the essential functions that the old middle men used to
perform - the promotion, contract negotiations, the protection of rights, of
ownership, paying taxes?
> How do we help people lift themselves up above the noise? How do we help
them to protect their rights?
> We need to make sure we are not just discovering the new talent of the
future, but also preparing that new talent for the world as it is now.
> The big creative challenge now is to come up with the new ideas that keep
people listening and which set a true and realistic value on talent. In short,
we need to create a new business model that is fairer to everyone - music-buying
public, performers, and those who have built up the industry.
> Thank you.