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PA's PA 3rd July

PA's PA 3rd July

Welcome to this week’s PA’s PA in a week in which the publication of Sir Howard Davies’ Airport Commission into Expanding Aviation Capacity in the UK was supposed to once and for all answer the question of whether a third runway will be built at Heathrow.   The Commission said yes.  The Conservative MPs whose constituencies will be affected still say no.  Boris remains keen on ‘Boris Island’.  The Government said “hmmm”….

Copyright and the Digital Single Market: Busting the Myths

The PA released this week a paper exposing the major myths and inaccuracies around copyright and the digital single market.  With the European Commission and European Parliament actively considering proposals to develop the digital single market, this paper aims to highlight and rebut some of the most consistently made false charges against copyright.  These range from the accusation that a digital single market is not possible without copyright reform, to the charge that text and data mining is not possible without an exception to copyright.  Commenting, The PA Chief Executive Richard Mollet, said:  “It is time to debunk the long-pedalled myth that copyright is an obstacle to growth in the digital economy.  When you look at the success of publishing and other creative industries in developing online products and services it is palpably untrue – copyright is the means by which the digital economy functions, allowing works to be made available to consumers and rewarding creators and the companies which invest in them”. 

Discussions Continue on Text Book Guidelines 

A delegation of publishers met this week with Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for Schools, to discuss the development of guidelines for text books.  This is a continuation of a policy conversation which began under the last government and with Mr Gibb keeping his role after the General Election, the initiative is now moving ahead briskly.  As revealed in his speech to The PA / BESA conference in November 2014, Mr Gibb is keen to see a greater use of text-books in British schools but notes that they have to be excellent quality.  His emphasis is on enabling students to be immersed in a subject, with text-books going well beyond that which is needed for examinations or solely curriculum areas.  Publishers are keen to work with Ministers on this, but point out that development of new materials cannot be rushed.  Work is continuing with the creation of expert panels of authors, teachers and publishers to create guidelines for all main curriculum areas.

European update

The Commission’s digital single market strategy was endorsed this week at a meeting of the Council of Ministers.  It was confirmed that “action must be taken on key components of the Commission communication, notably to remove the remaining barriers to the free circulation of goods and services sold online and tackle unjustified discrimination on the grounds of geographic location” and the portability and facilitation of cross-border access to online material protected by copyright should be guaranteed.  In addition, the need to ensure not just protection of intellectual property to help creative industries to thrive in a digital context but “high level” protection was particularly noted, along with the need to take into account cultural diversity.  

UK Government and the Digital Single Market

Chris Bryant, Shadow Culture Secretary having taken over from Harriet Harman when she became interim Labour Leader, has been pressing the Government on what concerns it is raising in Europe on the implications of the Digital Single Market for copyright and funding content.  Ed Vaizey continues to utilise his straight bat and responded that “The UK Government is committed to making the Digital Single Market a reality. Any copyright reform should aim to deepen the Digital Single Market, promoting wider legal access to copyright material and not standing in the way of technological innovation, while continuing to protect and reward creativity. At the meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council, the United Kingdom highlighted the importance of getting this balance right.” 

New figures from DCMS on Creative Industries contribution to employment and exports

As part of Creative Industries Week, the Government has published data on employment and exports in the creative industries.  In brief, the research finds:

  • In 2014, the number of jobs in the creative industries was 1.8 million, an increase of 5.5% from 2013
  • The value of services exported by the  creative industries in 2013 was £17.9 billion, an increase of 3.5% from 2012

Further information about the research can be found here. More about Creative Industries Week can be found here.

Publishing and #createuk 

Also as part of this week DCMS also ran a  social media campaign under the hashtag #CreateUK which saw The PA engage in a variety of digital activity to showcase the phenomenal success of UK publishing and the creative sector. This included: 

  • blog by HarperCollins CEO, Charlie Redmayne, on what publishers looks for in prospective candidates; 
  • ‘Top Tips’ tweets from senior industry figures Dominic Knight of Macmillan, Jo Prior of Penguin Random House and Cally Poplak of Egmont on how to navigate a career in publishing ; 
  • UK publishing’s international success was highlighted through a series of export stories from Nosy Crow, Sweet Cherry Publishing and Jolly Learning.  
  • An opportunity to win a day shadowing Helen Kogan and the team at Kogan Page through the #CreativeCareers competition.  

PLS Annual Open Meeting

PLS hosted their Annual Open Meeting at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Wednesday 1st July. After a welcome and introduction from Mark Bide (Chairman, PLS), Sarah Faulder (Chief Executive, PLS) gave an overview of the PLS activities over the past year. Mat Pfleger (Managing Director, CLA) and David Pugh (Managing Director, NLA Media Access) shared developments in the licensing agency space.

Attendees broke into 3 concurrent breakout sessions exploring different areas of licensing and the services that PLS provides. Tom West (Head of Operations, PLS) discussed how to optimise usage of the new PLSe accounts. Jonathan Griffin (Deputy Chief Executive, PLS) Claire Hodder and Ruth Tellis (Consultants, PLS) examined whether publishers’ permissions licensing practices were fit for purpose in the digital age. They highlighted poor communication, lack of support, inadequate data and inefficient processes as the main contributors to publishers’ permissions failing in the digital age.  James bennet (Head of Development, CLA) discussed the licensing solutions for future licencing from CLA. 

Keynote speaker Dr Ros Lynch (Copyright and Enforcement Director, IPO) discussed the future of copyright and enforcement. Emphasising that “there is no value in a right that cannot be enforced,” Ros highlighted the IPO’s commitment to collaborating with the publishing industry and creative sector as a whole to ensure that its rights are protected. She encouraged the creative sector to work together by sharing experiences and evidence to help shape the inevitable DSM policy currently being compiled in the EU. Enforcement of the DSM is likely to take place in 2016 therefore it is paramount to obtain as much evidence as possible to build a case that supports the interests of the UK. Dr Lynch also said that the IPO would be launching a consultation on equalising the penalties for online and physical copyright infringement “very soon” – this has been a long term request by the creative sector

Higher Education

New Universities Minister Jo Johnson has refused to say whether university tuition fees could rise.  When pressed by the Shadow Universities Minister, Liam Byrne, Johnson stuck to the line in the Conservative manifesto of wanting to ensure there is a stable and sustainable funding regimes for universities and higher education institutions in general.  This follows a comment from Universities UK which has come out and said that tuition fees could start to rise in line with inflation.  Jo Johnson has also used an early opportunity to enter the debate about teaching standards in higher education.  Writing in The Times he called for university tutors to offer the highest level of teaching standards as increased fees and funding means students expect the highest quality education.

Literacy and Reading for Pleasure

Author James Patterson’s support for school libraries continues.  He has announced this week the first round of schools in the US to receive grants from the initiative he and Scholastic Reading Club launched in March to fund school libraries.  The Guardian reports that he has given $500,000 to 127 schools in the US with sums ranging from $1000 to $10,000.  Patterson has also been supporting school libraries in the UK via his tie in with World Book Day.    Author writes cheques 

The Read On Get On coalition (of which The PA is a founder member) launched a new report this week which highlights the impact of early language development on children’s literacy levels.  Ready to Read reports that one in four children, and one in three of the poorest, fall behind in crucial early language skills by the age of five and suggests that while poor children as a whole are falling behind on language, poor boys fare the worst. Over 40 per cent (42 per cent) of boys on free school meals were left without the language skills expected by age five.. Commenting, PA Chief Executive Richard Mollet said: “This report highlights the fundamental issue that must be addressed for children across the UK to thrive and succeed in later life. The PA and its members are dedicated to boosting children’s literacy and we stand firmly behind the Read On. Get On. campaign’s call for greater investment in nursery education. It is vital that we continue our collaborative effort to make reading universally accessible to all children to equip them with the tools for success in the future”. 

Select Committee membership

After the election of the chairs a couple of weeks ago, the political parties have been announcing their representatives on the various Select Committees.  What we know so far of the committees of interest to us is noted below although full confirmation on the committees is due late next week.  We will be contacting them in the coming weeks to arrange briefings. 

Culture Media and Sport

Jesse Norman (Con) - CHAIR

Paul Farrelly (Lab)

Ian Lucas (Lab)

Chris Matheson (Lab)

Steve Rotheram (Lab)

John Nicholson (SNP)

Nigel Adams (Con)

Andrew Bingham (Con)

Damian Collins (Con)

Nigel Huddleston (Con)

Jason McCartney (Con)


Iain Wright (Lab) - CHAIR

Paul Blomfield (Lab)

Peter Kyle (Lab)

Jo Stevens (Lab)

Michelle Thomson (SNP)

Craig Tracey (Con) 

Chris White (Con)


Neil Carmichael (Con) - CHAIR

Lucy Allan (Con)

Ian Austin (Lab)

Michelle Donelan (Con)

Marion Fellows (SNP)

Suella Fernandes (Con)

Lucy Frazer (Con)

Kate Hollern (Lab)

Ian Mearns (Lab)

Caroline Nokes (Con)

Kate Osamor (Lab)

Science and Technology

Nicola Blackwood (Con) - CHAIR

Carol Monaghan (SNP)

Victoria Borwick (Con)

Chris Green (Con)

Tania Mathias (Con)

Matt Warman (Con)

This week we have:

Met with the National Literacy Forum to discuss business engagement in the literacy challenge;  met with Sherpa Fact, Booktrust, and the new Chief Executive of the British Council; discussed the role of text books in the classroom with Minster of State for Schools, Nick Gibb MP; attended the Opening Meeting of the Publishers Licensing Society; and discussed the digital single market with MEPs Andrew Lewer and Catherin Stihler.   

Next we will be:

Attending a meeting of the Creative Industries Council (co-chaired by the Secretary of States for BIS and DCMS) as well as a meeting of the CIC IP subgroup, speaking at an event organised by ISPA (the Internet Service Providers Association) on the European Commission’s proposed ‘duty of care’ for intermediaries; attending the IPO’s Creative Industries Strategic Advisory Group; and going to the All Party Writers Group summer reception.