UK music industry bodies welcome Online Harms White Paper

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and UK Music have responded positively to the Government’s proposals to make big tech take greater responsibility for the content they host.

The Online Harm White Paper establishes the Government’s plans for a package of online safety measures, designed to also support a thriving digital economy.

Although the two bodies largely support the Government’s proposals, both warned that they do not go far enough to prevent economic harm and that the scope should be widened.

Michael Dugher, chief executive officer, UK Music says: ‘UK Music strongly supports the Government in their efforts to properly regulate the internet and protect people from online harm.

‘It is vital that big tech starts taking far more responsibility for the activities that it allows and supports online.

‘We would urge the Government and Members of Parliament to widen the scope of future legislation to also include action to prevent online harm that is damaging our economy.

‘The creative industries are worth over £100bn to UK plc and music alone contributes £4.5bn to our economy. A strong economy and a civilised society relies on protecting our culture and our creativity.

‘It is vital that these reforms are broadened to force platforms to protect the creative work and intellectual property of our music creators. Without this we will fail to tackle piracy and organised crime, and we risk damaging investment, innovation and the future talent pipeline on which Britain’s world-leading music industry depends.

‘The Government must not waste this once-in-a-generation opportunity.’

Geoff Taylor, chief executive, BPI and BRIT Awards, added: ‘The BPI welcomes the global lead the UK government is taking to make the big tech platforms much more accountable for the content they host and the online harm they enable. However, after all the promises made around the Digital Charter, it is disappointing that the opportunity has been missed to create a framework that also addresses IP infringement online, and the economic harm it causes to consumers and to business.

‘This is one of the biggest inhibitors to the growth of our creative industries – at a time when they should be one of the UK’s top priorities after Brexit. We strongly urge the Government to listen to the many concerned voices in the wider creative community, and to think through its approach again.’

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