Facilitate Creativity

A rise in user-led innovation, which allows users to both use and create artistic products, has driven a rise in creative outputs.
(Gowers & Great Britain. 2006 p.12).

Gowers report on I.P. suggested flexibility in the system. Not only did he recommend allowing infringing downloads for personal use in their own homes (Gowers & Great Britain. 2006, p.6, Rec.8), he also recommended being able to use aspects of that work in the creation of a new work without harm to the original copyright holder (Gowers & Great Britain. 2006, p.6, Rec.11). Needless to say, these recommendations were not acted upon. Instead the government chose to draft the DEA which, while not altering existing copyright law, does enact certain responsibilities to hold a variety of people accountable for Online Copyright Infringement.

Currently, the top 10% of musical artists receive 60-90% of total income (Kretschmer et al. 2009 p.65). According to a 1994 survey, the average earnings from royalties per year for a songwriter is £1,420 (Kretschmer et al. 2009 p.57). It is clear from this that the majority of financial incentive passes to the copyright holder, not the original author. Further research may be needed to examine the extent to which the ‘financial incentive’ raised through exploitation is actually passed on to the artist who originally created it, although it can be assumed this is extremely low in the majority of cases.

It is accepted that original expression may draw from previous ideas. There is provision for Fair Use for education and personal use, linked to non-commercial uses. These support the educational model of copyright. However, there is also a vested interest in the current copyright and content industries to reduce the access to work via these exceptions and class all infringements, big and small, as damaging the market to the same extent.

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