Burnham calls on US to support online creativity

Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Andy Burnham says the UK and US can dominate online content – but only if they can support and take advantage of their creative industries. Burnham has urged the incoming US administration to establish a “new US-UK dialogue” to help invest and protect creative business.

He says that the digital age has created huge opportunities for “creative business”, including new business models, reduced costs and “generated a new dynamic between the creator and the consumer – co-creation”. However, he adds the same opportunities are threatening to undermine the value of much of this co-created work.

Burnham made the comments in a blog post on the Huffington Post website.
“As the world becomes increasingly connected, so demand for quality content in English will grow. It is a big competitive advantage for the US and UK. But it will only work if the digital world has copyright and other systems to support creativity,” he says.

He says the new international C&binet network (Creativity and International Business Network) will address this issue, but action needs to be taken before it holds its first forum in the UK in October next year. The network includes companies such as Channel 4, Microsoft, Condé Nast, BBC Worldwide and Universal Music.

“We have not empowered the other side of the equation, those who create it and get value from having created it. The risk is that if the best creative content is available for free, nobody pays for the really important things in life and we are all impoverished as citizens,” he says.

“If we are to formulate a way through some of these issues then there must be more of a shared approach to capturing creative value in this digital age.”

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