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DACS sends letter to DCMS Secretary of State

Group having dinner watching a cook on a large screen
Packed Lunch, 1979, Hayward Annual, Hayward Gallery, London, Bobby Baker © Bobby Baker. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2022. Photo: Andrew Whittuck

The Design & Artist Copyright Society (DACS) has today written to the new Secretary of State for DCMS, Michelle Donelan, to request that she works closely with the creative industries and visual artists to bring new investment to local communities across the UK through new non-taxpayer funded schemes.

In a recent YouGov survey* published by DACS, 67% of respondents supported the government being open to new initiatives, which would help sustain the UKs cultural and creative industries. As the UK enters increasing economic uncertainty, it is paramount that government works with the sector to find sustainable ways to invest and support cultural creators that contribute a world leadership position with an over £116bn contribution to the UK economy.

The Smart Fund is a proposal to ensure creators and performers are paid for their work whilst also providing a new funding stream for communities. It does this through payments from sales of electronic devices which access, copy and store creative content. Manufacturers pay a small fraction of the value of each device they sell into the Smart Fund, which is then paid out to both creators and local community projects with a focus on digital creativity and skills. In the UK it could raise up to £300 million a year, which can be divided between creators and performers, with a portion dedicated to social and community funding.

It is time for the UK government to seize opportunities that the rest of the world have already put in place to ensure that industry can collaborate more effectively with the cultural sector, and how creators can share in the success of technology companies.

Christian Zimmermann
Acting Chief Executive, DACS

As the government prepares to publish the forthcoming Digital Competition Bill, and with mounting support from across the cultural sector, Metro Mayors and other policy-thought leaders, DACS is keen that DCMS and other relevant government departments provide reassurance that creator and artist rights remain a priority.