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Cameron backs British music, though PPL Chair calls for more action on copyright issues

By | Published on Thursday 6 June 2013

David Cameron

That Prime Minister chap David Cameron has been bigging up the successes of the British music industry as record label trade body the BPI issued some new stats and celebrated its 40th anniversary at a London bash last night.

Basically repeating what he said this time last year when the BPI released its last set of “look how well British acts are doing globally” stats, only this time in person, Cameron remarked: “We should be extremely proud of how our world-leading music industry continues to go from strength to strength, with a record share of the global market and with British acts having the world’s top selling album for five of the last six years. British music is enjoyed across the world and we will keep backing our creative industries that support jobs, create opportunities and contribute to the economy”.

The PM’s chatter was referencing new data from the BPI which confirmed that British music accounted for over 13% of artist albums sold in the US last year, and nearly 52% of album sales in the UK. British acts have also scored the biggest selling artist albums globally six years out of the last seven (Adele in both 2011 and 2012). And, of course, One Direction have broken various chart records Stateside.

Bragging for the record industry, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told reporters last night: “Music is fundamental to Britain’s identity as a nation and the world is singing with us. Led by Adele’s ’21’, the global top seller for the second year running, our artists are having hits all around the world. From One Direction’s sensational, record-breaking US achievements, global smash albums from Muse and Mumford & Sons and breakthrough debuts for Emeli Sandé and Ed Sheeran, our musicians and labels are doing us proud”.

Presumably the music industry’s lobbyists will be hoping that Cameron’s commitment to “keep backing our creative industries” will mean his government stepping up its anti-piracy efforts, and maybe diluting somewhat the expansion of fair dealing provisions due to be considered in Westminster very soon.

Certainly Fran Nevrkla, now Chairman of the UK record industry’s rights body PPL reckons more needs to be done by the powers that be to protect the copyright industries. Before last night’s BPI shindig he spoke at the Annual General Meeting of the rights body he previously ran as CEO, telling the organisation’s members that government needed to step up its game. “Wake up, wake up” he said, addressing the Westminster village, “before it truly is too late and before all the creative industries, not just the music business, become decimated like so many industries and services before us! This will cause the most immense damage to the British economy and UK Plc”.