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c&binet forum - summary of discussions from the first morning

C&binet | 27 Oct 2009, 13:39

A call to unleash the full extent of Europe’s creative potential ended this morning’s session – one that began by addressing as unproductive the ‘deafness and shouting’ around piracy that has dominated discussion up to now.

Creative Industries minister Siôn Simon, Dame Gail Rebuck of Random House and Chris Clarke of Sapient Nitro debated the shades of grey between the polarised opinion, with a consensus emerging on the necessity of moving forward on a range of fronts – new business models, acceptance of consumer’s mindsets, and proportionate action to protect rights holders.

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Vivendi’s Jean-Bernard Levy, interviewed by Amanda Andrews, set out how his company is successfully straddling the content production and distribution worlds, declared the album not dead and dropped a teaser for things to come – gaming guitar heroes exchanging virtual axes for virtual decks with DJ Hero.

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Wired’s David Rowan then drew out visions for the near future from the Creative Infrastructure panel – all-seeing, all-knowing TV that responds like a Wii, protective walls around creative businesses coming crashing down, and sexed-up meta data.

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The rights issue returned, with Ashley Highfield contrasting the easy march of technological progress against the complexity of liberating content for future exploitation. That before David Rowan asked if piracy isn’t dead in the face of the opportunities opening up for creative leaders prepared to take risks and sail into choppy waters.

As a curtain-raiser for Lord Mandelson’s speech tomorrow, intellectual property minister David Lammy had a dream of a clear, fair and reasonable future where ‘freedom of access is not the same as access for free.’

Odile Quintin, the EU Director General for Education and Culture closed this morning’s session with a call for greater partnerships between the creative industries and educators to unleash the full extent of Europe’s creative potential.

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The response so far to the event from the online community has been tremendous, with #cabinetforum trending at one point during the session.

Many thanks. Stay with us for Elio Leoni-Scetifrom EMI Music restarting proceedings before discussions on Free Content and Scale, Risk and Investment.

C&binet forum opening night discussion roundup

Andrew | 26 Oct 2009, 20:47

C&binet forum 2009 opened with a discussion led by Newsweek’s Stryker McGuire, who interviewed a panel consisting of Secretary of State Ben Bradshaw MP, Wired UK editor David Rowan and c&binet ambassador Professor Phil Redmond about the state of the creative economy.

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The Secretary of State revealed that the growth of the UK’s creative economy endured the recession, despite some of the problems caused by a shrinking advertising market and defended the role of government spending on culture, arguing that a £1 investment by the DCMS delivers a £5 return in terms of economic activity stimulated. David Rowan echoed this positive outlook by arguing that the UK punches above his weight in every area of the creative sector but he suggested that SMEs have too little access to government (something that c&binet can play a role in remedying), which was a theme he carried through to his presentation of the Creative Economy in 2010 exhibition. Rowan also pointed out that copyright issues were not the only issue which government needs to address, referring to the risk of creative brain drain and arguing that the industry needed to move on from discussions about copyright. The Secretary of State replied that it was only possible to move on once some sort of solution had been reached.

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Phil Redmond argued that the digital age represents a unique opportunity for creatives to engage with their consumers directly, which he believes every creative business person is excited about. He also tried to put the current disruption in an historical context, suggesting that the media industry had always struggled against restrictive practices and regulatory regimes. David Rowan said the recent use of Twitter to overturn legal injunctions against the Guardian newspaper’s attempts to report Parliamentary questions showed that technology couldn’t be tamed. The same would hold true for the copyright challenge, he said. Stryker McGuire concluded by speaking up for the performance of Britain’s creative entrepreneurs, who he said had exploded the myth that Britain doesn’t do entrepreneurialism.

Following on from the opening discussion was a debate on illegal file sharing, moderated by Tim Suter
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This was not a panel of extreme views.  It was a discussion that started with a universal belief that artists should receive re-numeration for their content. The point was made that the genie was out of the bottle and that technical measures could only ever amount to “speed bumps” in the fight against illegal filesharing.  There was some recognition of this with panelists seeing technical measures as the legislative backdrop which would encourage consumers to move back towards rewarding creators for their products.  ISPs had a role to play in this, working with the industry to develop new business models and then encouraging users to take advantage of them.  There was though a view that many of those that illegally fileshared did so because they saw a rich and indulgent content industry that did not need the extra money that their legal purchase would provide.  The music industry in particular needed to better connect with their consumers to show that illegal filesharing did real harm to up and coming artists.


Clare Reddington, who’s talking at c&binet on Wednesday, has written about the first day on her blog.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown welcome message to c&binet forum

C&binet | 26 Oct 2009, 20:16

The Prime Minister welcomes delegates and the online community to c&binet forum:

Creative Industries lead Iceland recovery

Valerie | 25 Sep 2009, 13:55

Iceland’s creative industries are vital to re-building the country’s economy, Iceland’s minister for Industry has told delegates in a welcome address at the country’s You Are In Control conference.

Now in its third year, YAIC explores the latest digital business developments and investment available in music, media and the arts, focusing on new business models, the impact of the digital revolution on in the creative industries and how today’s creatives can work together – all key areas that will be addressed at the c&binet forum next month.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OLED) Iceland’s economy is set for a slow but nascent recovery early next year. The OLED projects Iceland’s economic contraction at around 7 percent this year and has forecast a 0.8 percent contraction in GDP for 2010.

Having faced its deepest recession in decades and the complete collapse of its banking system, it is welcome news and demonstrates the economic potential of creative industries both in Iceland and in countries such as China and the UK, where creative sectors have become engines for regional economic development.

Iceland has long been famed for its natural beauty and in recent years its unusual landscape has attracted Hollywood movies and seen its profile grow in the international film industry, aided by films such as Stardust, Batman Begins and James Bond: Die Another Day, whilst the achievements of Björk and Sigur Ros have put Iceland firmly on the map of International Music.

Concluding his address, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism said:

“We must get the message across that we are more than geysers, volcanos, waterfalls - and now fallen banks. Here you will also find creative people, culture and modern industries.
“... the government hopes (to) join forces with creative industries, the tourist industry and other important players to reshape the way we approach international marketing of Iceland as the source of culture, goods and services, as a destination and as a country to operate and invest in.”

Channel 4 announces creative overhaul

Valerie | 27 Aug 2009, 10:20

As we bid farewell to Big Brother – the long running show that turned reality TV into a global phenomenon, the final series of which will be broadcast next year – Channel 4 has indicated it will use the axing as an opportunity for the biggest creative overhaul in its 25-year history.

The Guardian reports that with up to 200 hours of peak-time airtime to fill from 2011 on the main network and digital entertainment service E4, the broadcaster will now focus on an overhaul of the programming lineup and a refocus on its public service broadcasting remit, including allocating an extra £20m a year for other TV genres such as drama.

Channel 4’s director of television and content Kevin Lygo said of the decision:

“Big Brother is still profitable for C4 despite its reduced popularity, and there could have been the option to renew it on more favourable terms. That’s what a purely commercial broadcaster would have done, but C4 has a public remit to champion new forms of creativity.”

The Channel 4 announcement comes as senior industry figures from the international television and media industry gather later this week to discuss the future of the sector at the annual Edinburgh Television festival. Issues to be discussed range from finding ways to generate new sources of revenue to the future of public service broadcasting and what opportunities are available for programme makers, channels and brands amidst technological advances and in the current economic climate.

The recession has hit advertising revenues hard, which has fallen steadily from a 2005 peak of £3.85 billion, according to Deloitte’s annual ‘state of the industry’ report. With the decline for 2009 expected to be as much as 17 percent year on year, broadcasters are being forced to re-evaluate their priorities.

Endemol’s chief executive and c&binet ambassador Tim Hincks sees the recession as a trigger to “start thinking slightly bigger picture and about the issues that are swirling round”.  Speaking to the Guardian earlier this week, he said:

“We are feeling the pressure and feeling the pinch. There’s no question that broadcasters’ budgets are down and we are making more for less.

“People are literally thinking about survival and looking for help and looking for ideas”.

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