Welcome to this week’s PA’s PA
An expected reshuffle this week following the numerous elections of the past weeks failed to materialise - the Prime Minister instead focusing on rallying others to his opposition of Jean Claude Juncker being made the new President of the European Commission.
The two remaining SIs on private copying and parody and quotation were laid this week. It appears the IPO has decided not to read anything into the fact that the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI) decided previously not to release them from Committee, instead relaying them in exactly the same form. Changes have been made to the explanatory memorandum providing clarity on such issues as digital resale and the use of technical protection measures but the question remains – why is this hidden in explanatory notes and not on the face of the legislation? The PA remains unhappy with the use of eBooks as examples of content which can be format shifted and will continue its work to get this changed in the accompanying guidance when it is amended in October.
Michael Gove announces plans to end illiteracy
Michael Gove provided some insight into the next Conservative Manifesto at the weekend. Speaking at an education conference hosted by Policy Exchange, the Education Secretary announced a pledge to ensure all children leave primary school fully literate and numerate. But, controversial as ever, he repeated his comments about teachers using Blackadder to teach about WW1 and annoyed his coalition partners by seeming to take credit for the introduction of the pupil premium.
Lib Dems call for core curriculum in all schools
Liberal Democrats have announced that the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a commitment to a “parental guarantee” – so that every parent can be confident that their child will be taught a core curriculum by a qualified teacher. Commenting, David Laws, the Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, said: "Education will be at the heart of the Lib Dem manifesto in 2015 and ensuring there is a qualified teacher using a core curriculum in every classroom will be at its centre”.
Interview with Tristram Hunt
Labour’s education spokesman Tristram Hunt was interviewed in the Guardian. He outlined his plans for the education system, which included tighter controls on the opening of free schools and new ‘Institutes of Technical Education’ to provide "gold standard delivery" of a proposed technical baccalaureate.
This week, London hosted the first International IP Enforcement Summit. Speaking at the start of the two-day event, Business Secretary Vince Cable called for a global approach to IP protection, acknowledged that online piracy is an international problem, and raised the need for payment service providers and advertisers to boycott dodgy websites. PA Chief Executive Richard Mollet participated in a session entitled The Internet: Burden or Bridgewhere he drew delegates’ attention to the need for intermediaries to take a greater role in helping to protect people online. Closing the event, IP Minister Lord Younger declared the next twelve months ‘a year of IP enforcement’ and (re)announced a series of activities the UK will be undertaking. On closing, a statement was issued on behalf of all participants in the Summit recognising the importance of protecting IP rights and committing to gather again in 2016 to review progress.
The Government has commissioned Inngot to undertake an evaluation of the criminal sanctions available for copyright infringement, with a view to ensuring they are set at a correct level. The research is an evidence gathering study, encompassing quantitative and qualitative data, with the results being used to look into whether there is a need for changing the law. This review was announced by the IP Minister, Lord Younger, during the passage of the Intellectual Property Bill in the last session of Parliament as a response to concerns that the penalties for online copyright infringement are significantly lower than those available for physical copyright infringement. The PA will monitor this review and contribute as appropriate both in its own right and via its membership of the Alliance for IP.
Labour attack cuts to arts education
At an event at The Roundhouse on Monday, Shadow Culture Secretary and deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, criticised the Government for cutting funding for arts education. In her speech she outlined how arts are an important part of education for all young people, how they have a huge impact on the economy (not just in the contribution made by the creative industries but in broadening students’ knowledge and skills generally –repeating the STEAM not STEM line from her speech to The PA’s AGM) but are also important for their own sake, and that cuts to national arts and education budgets create a situation where only an elite have access to cultural which is damaging to communities and the wider economy. The event also served as a launch for a new Labour consultation into how the arts can ensure all young people experience both artistic excellence and participate in cultural activity.
The Department for Education has published the new GCSE subject content for science and, for consultation, the draft programme of study for science at key stage 4. The key stage 4 programme of study for science will be introduced from September 2016, alongside first teaching of the new science GCSEs. The consultation runs until 23 July 2014.
JISC reports on its work with The PA member Sage Publications to address the issue of so-called “double dipping” where customers perceive they are paying twice for OA content via article charges and subscription costs. Subscribers to Sage Premier will see a discount on their APCs for articles in hybrid titles; and Sage will globally discount the subscription rate of journals where more than 5% of articles are published as Gold OA.
The PA was extremely sadden to hear of the unexpected death of Ron Egginton. Ron was known to many in the publishing industry through his work as BIS’s observer on the Finch Working Group and lead policy adviser on Open Access. A book of condolence is being collated by BIS colleagues. The PA has made the following contribution. “Ron epitomised the positive qualities of the British civil servant. He always provided an objective view of the on-going policy debates: fully open when allowed to be, wonderfully diplomatic whenever constrained. His encouragement of communication between stakeholders and ability to identify consensus positions was invaluable. His humour, candour and expertise will be hugely missed by all of us at The Publishers Association.”
Where we’ve been and where we’re going
This week we attended and spoke at the International IP Enforcement Summit and attended the General Assembly of the Federation of European Publishers; next week we will be participating in a joint meeting of the All Party Intellectual Property Group and the Digital Policy Alliance on how the UK and EU’s IP framework help secure the future growth of the tech and IP rich industries, and speaking at a Westminster Media Forum event on the Future of Copyright Policy.