The Green Party, it’s candidates persist in telling us, is the only party standing up for the arts. It’s a nice sentiment, but sadly it’s not borne out by their actual policies.
According to the policy section of their national website, the Green Party of England and Wales want to reduce the length of copyright protection from, at present, 70 years after the death of the creator, to “a usual maximum of 14 years” from the point of creation. Under this, JK Rowling would already have lost her rights to the first four books of the Harry Potter series, and anyone producing any creative work would only truly be able to call it theirs until 2029.
This sort of on-the-hoof policy making sounds very fluffy and nice, but in practice it will run the creative industries in the UK into the ground, as those who produce works of art in whatever medium are routinely robbed of any rights to their creations.
It seems, to this writer, a funny way to support the arts, by picking the pockets of artists themselves. Why should anyone trying to earn a living in the creative industries vote for the Greens, when they are pursuing disastrous ideas like this?
Labour Party candidate for Blenheim Park ward, Southend-on-Sea
So my views on the Green Party’s policies on copyright seem to have caused a stir.
Reading the various defences and responses put forwards by Green supporters to justify the
confiscation of artists’ rights to their creations limiting of copyright to 14 years, I am struck by the fact that the hostile response to this policy really seems to have taken them aback. There’s a sense of shock that the very people who are outraged (And, in my view, rightfully so -Ed) at the suggestions are the very people who they regarded as “theirs”.
It is, I suspect, political growing pains, similar to the “let Natalie in the debates“ when the initial TV debates plan excluded them, became “don’t let Natalie in the debates“ after that LBC interview.
So, given that hosts of readers are sure I’m wrong but can’t decide amongst themselves why, I figured I’d give a rundown of the various responses.
Having not read the minor parties’ manifestos cover-to-cover (Take a look at the Lib Dems’, and tell me it seems like a good use of time -Ed), I missed this particular policy until it was pointed out on my Facebook feed last night.
Quoted directly from the section of the Green Party website on intellectual property:
“EC1011 On cultural products (literature, music, film, paintings etc), our general policy is to expand the area of cultural activity, that is ways that culture can be consumed, produced, and shared, reduce the role of the market and encourage smaller and more local cultural enterprise (see CMS200 onwards). Specifically we will:
“b. introduce generally shorter copyright terms, with a usual maximum of 14 years;“
Now this really is radical policy. And not in a good way. By any objective analysis this is completely bonkers, and will likely destroy the creative industries in Britain — and here’s why.