@ C&binet: Creative Industries So Far Divided On The Way Ahead

The UK government may have intended to create a consensus when its Department for Culture, Media & Sport invited creative industries bosses to C&binet, its inaugural £1,500-a-ticket, invite-only forum for figuring out the industry’s digital intellectual property conundrum…

But, within minutes of the first debate starting at a Hertfordshire hotel on Tuesday morning, views exchanged between panelists and attendees revealed a wide gulf and a degree of “deafness” between pro-copyright content owners and advocates of radical business reform

Random House (book publisher) CEO Gail Rebuck

“There is an enormous amount of education work that needs to take place – but, as a content publisher, I’m all for the ultimate sanction (disconnection or legal action).

“The genie may be out of the bottle – but our response isn’t to give up and say goodbye to copyright.”

Turning to DCMS creative industries minister Sion Simon MP, Rebuck said: “Get through the (ultimate sanction) as fast as possible, please.”

Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock (from the floor)…

“You have to make copyright fit the technology … so that (audience) behaviour becomes a mechanism for payment

DCMS creative industries minister Sion Simon MP (responding)…

“The future doesn’t necessitate that we license people to break the law now. People simply shouldn’t and they’re not going to be (allowed to).”

After freeloaders receive warning letters (a Digital Britain proposal due to be included in the upcoming Digital Economy Bill), “a very large number of them will stop“, Simon said.

LBi chief creative officer Chris Clark (from the floor)…

To a round of applause: “The idea of sending a letter to a 14-year-old is absurd.”

Simon replied: “Why is it absurd? You’d send it to his mum.”

But Clark likened the proposal to prohibition: “The war on drugs? Is that going well? Banning alcohol in the 20s in the US?” He was greeted with more applause from the crowd – but only one apparent supporter on the stage…

Sapient Nero CEO Chris Clarke

“We’ve lost control in this new world. Content will be king, but the topic this conference must tackle is protecting copyright. I can’t see consumers changing their behaviour dramatically and starting to buy.

“The consumers in total control and a lot of our business models are obsolete.”

Simon, still seeking consensus, lamented the “polarised (camps), hyperbole and deafness” that often characterises these debates between “web libertarians” and Big Content: “Two very defined camps who don’t listen to each other and don’t listen to each others views.”

On Tuesday morning’s showing, the deafness is as loud as ever…