Sino-British talks on IP rights (3)

14:03, March 09, 2011      

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Creative industries

Moving beyond simple imitation, China is improving its capacity for innovation, with rapid growth in its creative industries, a sector that is particularly strong in Britain, Alty noted.

Nearly 2 million people work in creative endeavors in Britain in fields ranging from art to the music industry.

Creative industries are now feeling the impacts of digital technology - but that "provides opportunities not just threats", he noted.

A good legal framework is needed that balances the needs of consumers and users as well as those of IPR owners, providing a solid foundation for the sector, he said.

He recalled he once told his children not to download illegal music from the Internet and they replied they did not have to because legitimate services are provided by online portals.

Online music in Britain is inexpensive and in some cases free because websites carry advertising to generate revenues, he said.

"We encourage meeting customer demands and we can't just say 'nobody can have music online'."

As has been demonstrated globally by music file sharing over the Internet, enforcement measures are often impractical against large numbers of users, which is why education and awareness are important, he said.

"It is quite important to make IPR interesting and fun," he stressed. "If you simply send out messages that tell people what to do - that doesn't always get attention."

He cited a British cartoon series and a popular game called Sprocket Rocket as examples of his office's efforts to promote IPR awareness in a more entertaining way.

If used in China, such practices would make an impact on larger segment of the population, he said.
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