13/06/2011

Fast Changing Face Of Pinewood In Focus

A Government Minister has been getting an update on the world of film and television.

Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, took centre stage at Pinewood Studios this week to discover how changing technologies are affecting the industry and what the UK Government can do to help the sector's economic growth.

Among the issues the Minister is discussing with companies in the film and television industries are those of copyright offences and what the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) are doing to help them enforce their rights.

The IPO already have an established crime group and work closely with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) to help prevent the illegal recording of films in cinemas.

Baroness Wilcox said: "The facilities at Pinewood are fantastic and it proves that the UK has a thriving and innovative creative arts industry.

"The Government is committed to providing companies such as Pinewood with a solid base on which they can grow and continue to produce world class material.

"We are currently considering a range of recommendations from an independent review of intellectual property which could potentially benefit the film and television industries.

"Among the suggestions are to update current copyright legislation and to provide creative minds with more enforcement options to protect their intellectual property," she said, on Monday.

"It is important the Government makes the right decisions in these areas and we are taking these considerations very seriously. That is why I am making the time to meet with various representatives from the creative industries in the UK to see how we can work together going forwards."

Orphan Works

The Government is also considering recommendations to change copyright legislation in relation to 'orphan works'.

These are materials which are held in archives, but to which the copyright owner is unknown.

Currently if the owner cannot be found then that particular recording cannot be used.

A change in legislation might allow the film and television industries to open up and re-digitise archived footage that has previously been locked away.

During the visit Baroness Wilcox also had a tour of the studios, which included the motion capture studio and underwater stage. She met and spoke to members of staff about their work and also met with Pinewood Shepperton plc Chief Executive, Ivan Dunleavy.

Mr Dunleavy said: "We are pleased that Baroness Wilcox has come to the Studios to see how companies within the creative industries are embracing new technologies to drive growth.

"I am particularly pleased that the Minister met with our restoration, archive and preservation team, which works with companies that are affected by some of the issues the government is looking at in relation to orphan works," he said.

Meanwhile, the Government hopes to publish their response to the review of Intellectual Property shortly.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.

Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.

(BMcC/GK)

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