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Liberal Democrats

F12: Supporting the Creative Industries and Protecting Channel 4

Submitted by: 11 Members.
Mover: Charles Brand.
Summation: Lord Clement-Jones (Lords Spokesperson for Digital).


Conference believes that:

  1. The UK's thriving cultural sector is a national treasure and the creative industries are a crucial part of our economy that are neglected and threatened by this Conservative Government.
  2. Art subjects help children and young people to develop crucial creative and emotional skills, as well as preparing them for jobs in the creative industries.
  3. As public service broadcasters, both the BBC and Channel 4 have distinctive and vibrant roles to play in the UK's cultural and media landscape, including driving growth, innovation and job creation in our creative industries.

Conference notes that:

  1. The UK's world-leading creative industries contribute more than £100 billion a year to our economy and employ more than 2.3 million people across all regions and nations.
  2. The Conservative Government is planning to sell off Channel 4 despite it being successful and receiving no taxpayer funding - a move that would hit the UK's independent TV and film production sector by an estimated £3.7 billion over a decade.
  3. The number of students taking arts and creative subjects at GCSE and A-Level has fallen by a third in the last decade.
  4. The Government is damaging the UK's creative industries further by:
    1. Failing to include arts subjects in the English Baccalaureate.
    2. Halving the funding for creative arts subjects at university.
    3. Erecting new barriers to British musicians and actors performing elsewhere in Europe, and to European artists performing in the UK.
    4. Creators and artists are too often presented with take-it-or-leave-it contracts which, where there are no collective agreements, offer little scope for negotiation and demand full assignment of their rights or unnecessarily wide licences; the UK is one of the few countries where moral rights and authorship can be waived entirely.

Conference reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to:

  1. Protect the BBC as an independent, universally available, properly resourced public service broadcaster, including by ensuring future decisions about the licence fee are made transparently by an independent body.
  2. Negotiate free and simple short-term travel for UK artists to perform in the EU, and EU artists to perform in the UK, including the transport of sets and equipment.

Conference calls on the Government to:

  1. Abandon its plans to sell off Channel 4.
  2. Promote creative subjects in schools, further education and universities, including by:
    1. Giving power to Ofsted to monitor the curriculum so that schools continue to provide a rich curriculum including subjects like art, music or drama.
    2. Including arts subjects in the English Baccalaureate.
    3. Properly funding creative arts degrees.
    4. Ensuring that high-quality apprenticeships are available in the creative and digital industries.
    5. Implement the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances to grant the extension of moral rights to performers and creative workers and empower performers to combat the misappropriation of their images, likenesses and performances.
  3. Establish an independent review to explore the merits of introducing image and publicity rights and to ensure that the purpose of copyright in stimulating and sustaining creativity is met, so that:
    1. Creators and artists receive:
      1. A fair share of the money consumers pay for copyright content, and where their rights are transferred, broadcast or sold.
      2. Appropriate and proportionate remuneration through collective agreements when they licence or transfer their rights.
      3. Up-to-date and comprehensive information from assignees and/or licensees about how their works are being exploited, including transparent calculations of contractual entitlements and relevant revenue and remuneration data.
      4. Additional, appropriate and fair remuneration where the remuneration originally agreed is disproportionately low compared to the revenues generated from exploiting the works or performances.
    2. Creators and artists derive the full benefit of technology such as AI-made performance synthetisation and streaming.
    3. Rights are returned to creators if they are no longer being exploited.
    4. Creators retain the rights to be named when their work is used and to complain of derogatory uses.
    5. Independent and SME designers are better protected from design right infringement and counterfeit products.
    6. Writers and publishers are protected from damaging changes in copyright exhaustion rights.

Federal; except 2. which is England only.

Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 9 of the agenda.

The deadline for amendments to this motion, see page 12 of the agenda, and for requests for separate votes, see pages 8-9 of the agenda, is 13.00 Monday 5 September. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Saturday's Conference Daily.