UKIE Response to Intellectual Property Office Consultation on proposals to change the UK’s copyright system - March 2012
Our successful UK industry sits within a strong global video games and interactive entertainment market. Today, some 70 per cent of the UK population enjoys playing games. Indeed, hundreds of millions of people are enjoying playing games the world over. Global revenues from software sales are reportedly $50 billion per annum and are expected to rise to $87 billion by 2014. It is the largest entertainment industry in the world and continues to grow. The sector is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 10.6% between 2010 and 2014. Ours is clearly a burgeoning and increasingly popular industry, with the potential to continue generating billions of pounds for the UK economy.
Today the total value of the British games market – ranging from online and mobile gaming through to merchandising - is worth in excess of £3.266 billion across a variety of formats. In the UK alone online games (Xbox live subscriptions, casual and social gaming, download-to-own and streaming on-demand games) revenues stand at £520m; mobile gaming (download-to-own and in-game purchases) £158m with traditional ‘boxed’ software at £1.42bn. Spin-off toys, music and products on video games properties such as Sonic, Moshi Monsters and Mario are an increasing source of revenue, bringing in £70m last year.
The video games industry epitomises technological innovation and thrives on the development of original intellectual property. UKIE believes that the UK’s intellectual property (IP) regime has been the foundation of the UK’s innovative, growing and dynamic video game industry. We seriously question the need for change which could weaken, or be perceived to weaken, that essential foundation and put this industry at a competitive disadvantage both at home and abroad. In common with the submission of other creative industries – and the Alliance Against IP Theft - if anything, respect for the UK’s existing IP regime needs to be strengthened through education and more effective enforcement of IP rights, otherwise the UK industry risks permanently losing its home grown innovators, those who invest in their innovations and the related IP.
Read the full paper here.
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