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The Digital Economy Act UK


The Digital Economy Act And Creativity – Information Is Power


In the current advancement in IT, the integration into the vital information society depicts that data or information The Digital Economy Act UKhas a significant and increasingly imperative role in all industries of the information society. It holds various economic and social advantages. The discourses on the Society of Information, on the other hand, are related to the entire digital divide and all the inequalities involved in accessing and using the information and communication technologies (ICTs). In this case, the Digital Split also referred as the Digital Divide, is any social problem that relates to the diverting amount of information, particularly between those people who have the broadband access to the Internet, and those who lack this accessibility. Therefore, the Digital Divide have severe consequences in the information society. In this research paper, I will discuss in details why is creativity one of the key focuses concentration areas in the United Kingdom’s Digital Economy Act, if “Information Is Power.”

Introduction and Background

Back in the period of Post-World War II, a vision of what became to be labelled as, “The Information Society,” started to crystallise. Most researchers, engineers, scientists, and mathematicians were more interested in the control and regulation of the Information and communication systems as well as the Advanced Technologies, which on the other hand, could assist them to recognise their entire hopes, especially for the overall contribution of the Artificial Intelligence plus Robotics. In the same era, most United Kingdom’s economist expected that the industrial productivity gains and profits reaped, purposely by the processes of mechanisation, might be replicated by the upcoming automation. Therefore, the Policy Makers and the United Kingdom Government were trying to retain and have control on the full-time jobs and development (Antonelli, Geuna,and Steinmueller, 2000).

In the same case, the information employees like the software engineers and librarians had the responsibility of increasing the accessibility to informational skills and knowledge, mainly through crafting excellent equipment for better access to information. The immediate assumption by the information technicians that the enormous economic and social advantages might be reaped by those people who were positioned on top to develop a new and modern ICTs, highly gained currency. Therefore, it is possible to trace the origin of the emphasis of the Information and Communication Control Systems, mainly to the publication of Norbert Weiner (1948) on Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine. In this case, as a Professor of Mathematics, in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Weiner was more interested in the information processing, neurological systems, and feedback systems. His vital research concentrated on the capacities of an individual for information processing (Wiener, 1948).

Reasons Why Creativity Is One of  The Key Focus Area In the UK’s Digital Economy Act

First, the creative economy has some positive social and cultural impacts, which are more likely to develop and proliferate. Currently, it is an incredible time for rapid globalization. Most nations including the United Kingdom have realized that the integration of commerce and culture that is represented by the creative sectors is a powerful tool for offering a distinctive image of the entire nation or just a city. In this case, it helps the United Kingdom to stand out from the stiff commerce competition. The values of creative and broadly recognized cultural Icons like the Eiffel Tower in France, The Sydney Opera House in Australia, and Taj Mahal in India are examples of innovative economic icons that have provided a path to the overall districts that integrate commercial and arts activities. These include the large prestige projects such as the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, and the Shore ditch District of London, which have its unique design tech businesses, design studios, clubs, and cafes.

The recognization of such broad significance was reflected and represented in the United Kingdom Government. This was through the publication of Creative Britain (2009). The paper claimed that those long-term policies for the creative industries, including the ICTs, are based on the policy initiatives, most of them at regional and city level, that are economical and social. For instance, these included the requirement for a rapid change in the way the education of children and access to information we planned, primarily if the economy of Britain was to attain and maintain a long-term success as a home of innovation and creativity (Towse, 2013).

In the same case, when the Digital Economy Bill received the final reading in the Lords, there were no amendments made. This means that the bill passed all the required Parliamentary Hurdles and Royal Assent to law. According to Feargal Shakey, The Chief Executive of United Kingdom Music, he said that now the UK have welcomed the creation of the Digital Economy Act and the Firm Foundations were in the place on which they could develop the United Kingdom’s Economy. In fact, he said, “The UK’s Music Industry has no argued to look backwards and, as we have consistently stressed, legislation is not a means to an end. It is a spur to action. We acknowledge that the real work begins now- both regarding developing the Code of Practice with industry partners and Ofcom, cooperating with Internet Service Providers, and By opening up even more legitimate ways for fans to enjoy the music and creativity that they love.” Therefore, it is crystal clear that, just according to the Liberating Creativity, the manifesto of the United Kingdom’s Music industry for the entire commercial music sector, the Digital Economic Act created some ambitions to be the top in the world by 2020. However, in order to recognise such objectives of the Act, the United State’s citizens are required to be unique on everything, including the content and information industry, and meet all those challenges provided by the Act. They are also responsible for embracing their productive digital future rapidly and maintain it. This is one of the reasons why creativity is one of the critical focus and concentration in the Digital Economy Act (Arthur,2010).

Also, by focusing on creativity and uniqueness of information, the Digital Economy Act tends to measure and restrict illegal downloads. Illegal content download and using other peoples published information like yours is one thing that this Digital Economy Act concentrated on, as an issue that was immoral and not in accordance with the codes. In fact, according to BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor, the measures of the Act in response to the reduction and elimination of illegal downloading will spur on the investment in the innovation and music in legal commercial models. In his argument, he says, “ An Internet that rewards taking creative risks will mean more British Bands enjoying global success, more choice in how to access music online, and more jobs in our fast-growing creative sector. These measures will not eliminate all piracy, but they will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the internet.” (Arthur,2010) It is clear that with the new measures of the Act, the United Kingdom’s citizen will continue to expand the impressive range of legal services, which is responsible for providing vast catalogues of information and music stream or download, and which will reward the artists for their effort. The focus on creativity will underpin it together with the industry initiatives like the recently launched Music Matters Campaign, which is meant to raise the awareness of these offerings with the United Kingdom consumers. The concept of uniqueness outlined by the Digital Economy Act will enable the people to work diligently, together with other stakeholders such as the Ofcom and ISPs, with a primary aim of developing the Code of Practice that will bring the Digital Economy Act into effect (Arthur,2010).

Furthermore, Equity believes that it is crucial in making any recommendation on setting how to enhance a competitive environment on the creative industries of United Kingdom. According to research, it acknowledges the complicated arts ecology that allows such creative industries to be the United Kingdom success story. While Equity appreciates those sectors’ increasing reliance on the Internet drive growth as well as revenue, the concept of Digital Economy cannot exist in a vacuum. In this case, it is heavily reliant for the success of the thriving cultural and arts industry, a place where it can get the creative talents and also, offer the content that attracts the UK consumers. Also, the matrix of public support for the creative arts and content allows the practitioners to take a considerable risk, especially when making a long-term investment in creativity sector. Most funded theatre in the United Kingdom can experiment and of course, produce new and attracting work, since it does not have to precisely depend on the sales of tickets in the same technique as the commercial industry. The capability of the investors to take risks makes those arts theatre more creative, dynamic and capable of providing the opportunities for new creative talents as well as writing. The wealth of such innovation and creativity typically extends beyond the boundaries of any United Kingdom’s theatre or space for performance and crosses the platforms, as the achievement of The National Theatre’s Production War Horse indicates.

Moreover, according to section 3 to 16 of the Digital Economy Act, it contains some copyright infringement provisions. The provisions focus on creativity to avoid any extents of pirating someone else content. These regulations have established a Code to be developed, which is responsible for defining a system of procedures to cover the notifications to the Internet Service Providers. It is also responsible for informing the consumers, mainly when some allegations have been made, regarding the downloading of contents online, which are infringing copyright. These also apply to the subscriber appeals, conditions for disconnecting any persistent infringement, and the conditions under which the subscribers or users can be identified to the respective third parties. With a primary aim of enhancing creativity among the United Kingdom’s citizens, the objective of these provisions was to offer substantial evidence that the holders of the copyright could use to stand immune in the actions of the court, particularly against the subscribers who are reported. In fact, according to the Law Firm Eversheds, the Digital Economy Act was passed in the real face of most great opposition to the copyright infringement provisions and very vocal lobbying from ISPs, among other stakeholders, who are required to implement it at some costs to them. In this case, The Law Firm Evershed quoted, “We can expect opposition to intensify as the clampdown on copyright infringement begins in earnest and consumers find themselves accused of breaking the law. Meanwhile, some commentators have already pointed out that technology savvy infringers can- and will- take steps to circumvent detection, leaving open the question, who is the government really targeting?” (Arthur,2010) This is a clear indication that the Government of the United Kingdom wants to force the copyright infringers to creativity and come up with their new content, instead of pirating others information and content. Therefore, it is one of the reasons why the Digital Economy Act have creativity as one of the critical element and focuses on it considerably.

In the attempt of fighting with piracy further, and enhancing creativity, the representatives from the United Kingdom’s creative industries such as the British Phonographic Industry and Motion Pictures Association and the ISPs have already collaborated with the Government to launch the two-pronged anti-online piracy initiative. This initiative is referred to the Creative Content UK, which the United Kingdom’s Department for Culture, Media and Sports have demonstrated that will replace all the hostile anti-piracy regime. Most of the Anti-Piracy Regimes that are targeted by the DCMS are those who were rushed through, mainly under the Digital Economy Act, but it has been fully implemented via secondary legislation (Towse, 2013). This initiative consists of two primary features:

  • A large-scale consumer and educational awareness campaign, which purposely focuses on the values and benefits of online content and the related copyright. It is led by the core content developers or creators, having the United Kingdom’s Government in support of funding.
  • The subscriber programme for the alert. Here the ISPs taking part will be responsible for alerting as well as advising the subscribers, the time when some of their accounts have been flagged and believed to have been used in any act that infringes copyright.

Finally, another reason why creativity is one of the key focuses concentration areas in the United Kingdom Digital Economy Act is that there is a valuable economic case for investment in the art. For instance, in each pound invested by the Art Council England (ACE) in the organisations that it funds, some other two pounds are generated by those agencies. In this case, the Government has realised that due to artistic creativity and innovation, the Art and Culture Industry provides 0.4% of Gross Domestic Product, which is an excellent return on the 0.1% of the Government Expenditure (Peters,Marginson, & Murphy, 2009). In fact, according to the DCMS figures, it was discovered that the entire creative economy employed approximately 2.55 Million, which account for one out of 12 employment in the United Kingdom. Those people who were working in the creative industry accounted for 1.68 Million Jobs, which is equivalent to 5.6%. This is an improvement compared to the national average of approximately 0.7%. Moreover, the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the creative sectors is estimated to be about 71.4 Billion Euros, back in 2012, which is equivalent to 5.2 percent of the United Kingdom’s Economy. The UK Government has already discovered all these and passed the Digital Economy Act in favour of the creative sectors, with a primary aim of protecting all these jobs opportunities and revenue (THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. 2014).

According to Lavinia Carey, who is a Director General of the British Video Association, said that the organization is great to see that the Digital Economy Bill was victorious in the House with the creative clauses put in place toward the protection of copyright holders from Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sharing of file and illegal sites providing the copyright material and content free of charge. In fact, Carey said, “As a nation, we should be enormously proud of our home entertainment industry which produces a wealth of excellent material to be enjoyed by millions. Illegal consumption of this material is effectively stealing and squeezes the industry’s budgets, which in turns stunt the creativity of the content and innovation we have come to enjoy.” (Arthur,2010) This means that the extents of many pirates to infringe the copyright on various content is destroying the creativity and innovation of people who are ready to invest in the sector. Therefore, the Government passed the Digital Economy Act with the key focus on creativity to enhance the budget of this industry (Bakker, 2005).


According to recent research and data, it was discovered that 65 Billion Euros was invested particularly on the Intellectual Property rights, back in the year 2008. Approximately 75% of the entire investment was in design and copyright. Therefore, creative industries, which make significant use of the design and copyright, had contributed to about 59 Billion Euros to the United Kingdom’s Economy. It also supported more than 1.3 Million Jobs directly and of course, around 2.3 Million Jobs such as further Creative Jobs in various businesses and organisations outside the Creative Sectors. In this case, the original industries, as well as copyright, are crucial for the growth and development of UK economy. However, online copyright infringement and piracy are some of the potential barriers to such growth (Peters,Marginson, & Murphy, 2009).

According to a recent survey on this sector, 33% of the sampled online population access music content illegally and the music industry approximates that about 1.2 Billion tracks every year are downloaded in the same manner, compared to the legitimate online sales, which accounts for approximately 370 Million records. Therefore, the UK Government, through Parliament passed the Digital Economy Act, which is responsible for reducing and eliminating copyright infringement and supporting this productive sector. In this Act, creativity is the critical focus concentration area, and this sought to achieve two primary objectives. First, it is about creating a regulation or policy that will maximise the entire benefits of the digital revolution. Also, the Digital Economy sought to address the problem of online or internet copyright infringement.

  • Antonelli, C., Geuna, A., and Steinmueller, W. E. (2000.Information and Communication Technologies and the Production, Distribution and Use of Knowledge’. International Journal of Technology Management, 20(1-2): 72-94.
  • Arthur, C., (2010). Creative industries, rights groups and lawyers react to digital economy bill [online]. The Guardian. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2010/apr/08/digital-economy-bill-reactions
  • [Accessed 27 Dec 2017].
  • Bakker, P. (2005). File-Sharing, Ignore or Compete: Paid Download Service Vs. P2P-Networks. Telematics and Informatics, 22(1/2): 41-55
  • Peters, M., Marginson, S., & Murphy, P. (2009). Creativity and the global knowledge economy. New York, Peter Lang.
  • THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. (2014). Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy. Createspace Independent Pub.
  • Towse, R. (2013). Handbook on the digital creative economy. Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1593373. {Accessed 27 Dec 2017}
  • Wiener, N.(1948). Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

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