UK creatives advocate for fair pay and the protection of creators' rights in the Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee.
Today the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hosted a session where four organisations, The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (Writers, ALCS), British Equity Collecting Society (Actors and Performers, BECS), the Design & Artist Copyright Society (Visual artists, DACS) and Directors UK (TV and Film directors), gave evidence exploring the issues around creator remuneration in the UK.
Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Committee Chair, asked about the working practices across the creative industries, including the increased precariousness of employment and continual falling remuneration for creators. The Covid-19 pandemic brought a sharp focus on these long-standing issues, at a time when many freelance creatives were locked out of support schemes.
Key issues for UK creators that were highlighted included:
- Creators rely on a wide portfolio of earnings from commissioned work, sales, as well as royalties to sustain their careers.
- 49% of workers in the creative industries are freelance. Creators are twice as likely to work freelance compared to other industries.
- Creators’ pay across the creative industries is falling, risking a loss of talent across the sector.
- The downturn in income has been caused by various factors, including the shift to digital platforms, and advancing technology, neither of which are well covered by established mechanisms for copyright remuneration.
- UK creatives are at a disadvantage to those in 45 other countries, where private copying levies exist to pay creatives when their works are stored and shared across digital devices. Read more about private copying levies.
- Without addressing issues of UK creator remuneration, the Government risks undermining its aims for the creative industries, to increase social mobility through creative careers.
All four organisations made the following recommendations to the Committee:
- The UK Government should appoint a freelancer commissioner to better understand the issues of freelance workers.
- The UK Government should introduce a private copying scheme into law to compensate creators and performers, and to protect income from overseas by creating reciprocity between the UK and other countries.
- DCMS and the IPO should engage further on how to improve the regulatory landscape and ensure that fair, equitable payment to creators and performers is a priority.
- There should be further research into comparative value loss between UK creators and performers and their counterparts overseas.
The DCMS Select Committee is expected to produce a report after the session.
Information on some of issues highlighted in the Committee, and personal stories of people working in the creative industries are available online.