The BPI has welcomed the completion of the first round of trade negotiations between UK and US Governments.
Our industry’s urgent priority over the past few weeks has rightly been to focus all its efforts on helping the music community to come through the worst effects of the Covid-19 emergency, but its long term interests will be best served by promoting an environment in which artists and creators can continue to thrive at home and their exports can flourish overseas. As the talks turn to issues relating to IP, there should be a clear recognition that a strong copyright regime, that protects and encourages creators, will result in the greater creativity and economic growth that will strengthen the UK’s music sector as a whole.

At an overarching level, it is important to recognize that the US and UK have distinct legal and rights frameworks which should be respected for the way in which they are – by and large – suited to the characteristics of the markets in each territory. As such, while there are potential areas for reciprocated changes to be made, the starting point should not be to seek harmonization. The UK copyright regime fundamentally functions well for the music industry – and the US recorded music industry accordingly looks more to the UK as a model to follow than the reverse.

It is the BPI’s firm view that the UK’s existing rights and enforcement framework should be protected and strengthened in the course of trade negotiations – a view shared by our counterparts in the US.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, commented:

“Policy makers here should be rightly proud of the UK’s outstanding copyright framework which is referred to internationally as a gold standard of copyright. It is one of the key drivers of the success of the UK’s creative industries, the fastest growing sector of the economy, contributing £111 billion annually in GVA. As trade talks continue, the ambition should be to work with our partners in the US to ensure there is no dilution of that framework, respecting the differences between the UK and US markets, and learning from best practice where relevant. Given how hard the global Covid-19 emergency has hit the UK music sector, it’s vital our government ensures we have the strongest possible IP regime to underpin our economic recovery. We look forward to engaging further with government as the talks progress into the second round.”

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