UK Music releases 2015 Manifesto ahead of UK general election

UK Music releases 2015 Manifesto ahead of UK general election

UK Music, a campaigning and lobbying group which represents both the recorded and the live music industry, has released a Manifesto for 2015 which highlights some of the most pressing issues in the music space going forward.

The release is, as the introduction by UK Music’s Chair Andy Heath makes clear, is a way to pro-actively set an agenda that will hopefully resonate with whichever party or coalition will end up in Government after the elections on the 7th of May.

Heath states that previous Governments have had a mixed record in supporting the music industry, with positive initiatives around skills, education and financing happening side-by-side with inquiries that created uncertainty around the evolution of the UK’s copyright regime.

Jo Dipple, the CEO of UK Music, echoes these sentiments and stresses that the growth of the UK music industry as well as its impact on the economy over the past few years should warrant the support of the next Government.

Recommendations on fostering a strong copyright framework include the introduction of a fair compensation scheme for rights holders by amending the private copying exception that was recently implemented as well as the potential to bring forward legislation that would require search engines to “take action where they have knowledge that a site is operating illegally”.

UK Music is also advocating for better access to finance and fiscal initiatives through tax breaks for the industry, continued government funding of initiatives like Momentum and adjustments to taxation rules that negatively impact freelance music industry workers.

The “Skills Pipeline” is also a concern, UK Music asks for a continued support of music education in schools - including ensuring that the upoming Music GCSEs and A-Levels reflect the needs of today's music industry - and of schemes that assist internships and apprenticeships.

On an international level, the organisation pushes for the Government to uphold free movement of labour within the EU and work with other jurisdictions to simplify performance visas.

Finally, UK Music calls for the Government to implement regulatory interventions more consistently, for example by ensuring that live music regulations protect small venues and allow local music to develop and flourish.

You can read the full report here.

Obviously the question mark is whether the next Government will take these points into advisement. Given that the legislative agenda is always very full when a new Government is appointed though it was smart for UK Music to make a stance early in the hope that music will remain high in the list of priorities going forward.

(Andrea Leonelli)