Monday, March 16, 2009

Guild response to Digital Britain report

The Writers' Guild has submitted its response to the government's outline plans for the transition to a 'digital economy'. The Digital Britain interim report contains a series of recommendations, including specific proposals on:
  • Next generation networks

  • Universal access to broadband

  • The creation of a second public service provider of scale

  • The modernisation of wireless radio spectrum holdings

  • A digital future for radio

  • A new deal for digital content rights

  • Enhancing the digital delivery of public service.

The Guild's response (pdf) addresses these and argues that the key role of content creators must be recognised.

We welcome the emphasis on the fact that the digital information and communications sector is one – alongside energy and financial services – upon which the whole economy rests. We would go further and suggest that with the North Sea past peak production and the uncertain future for financial services, the digital sector, with the inclusion of the important creative industries, may be the strongest hope for the UK economy over the foreseeable future. If that is right then this debate is of the highest importance to all our futures. Creators (including writers) make up only a tiny minority of the jobs in the sector and indeed in many cases do not actually have jobs in the conventional sense, because they work as freelances. But although only a small fraction of the workforce, creators are important because their output is what makes the creative industries possible, and allows hundreds of thousands of other jobs to exist. Therefore it is imperative that creators’ interests are safeguarded and enhanced – our creators are the geese that lay the golden eggs.

You can have your say on the report through the Digital Britain discussion site.

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