Javid’s Threat To Search Engines

UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has emphasized the need for robust copyright enforcement and warned the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that their search results must stop sending people to illegal sites.
The UK's new culture secretary. 

Speaking at the British Phonographic Industry’s AGM Sept. 1, he told the UK’s record companies that he and Vince Cable – the secretary of state for business – had written to the search engine owners that he was prepared to take a legislative approach to the problem.

“Britain punches above its weight in the creative industries, but when it comes to music, that metaphor doesn’t even come close to doing us justice,” Javid told the BPI and its members. For this year’s gathering at the ME London Hotel in The Strand, the BPI’s AGM merged in to its Annual Conference for Members.

“The UK accounts for less than 1 percent of the global population, yet one in every eight albums sold anywhere in the world is by a British artist.

To put it another way, sales outstrip population by a factor of almost 14 to one,, Javid told the room. Apart from cozying up to the recorded music business in the year leading up to an election by hinting at tax breaks for investors in music, Javid may also have been aware of the mixed reception his appointment received on the live side of the business. Even fellow Conservative MP Mike Weatherley, who was heading the all-party group of MPs investigating the secondary ticket market, said Javid needed “reeducating” on the subject.

Three years ago when Javid’s meteoric political career was about to launch from the backbenches, he’d told the House Of Commons that ticket touts are “classic entrepreneurs” who are recognising an opportunity in the market.”

Stuart Littlewood, chairman of the UK’s Concert Promoters’ Association, said Javid’s comments were “naïve.” The BPI AGM he also marked the departure of its outgoing chairman Tony Wadsworth, who in March said he was stepping down to get involved in “new ventures.”

There had already been a lot of online speculation that he could be heading for a job with one of the UK’s major record companies, with many speculating that he was returning to EMI or joining Universal.

Taking Javid’s theme of British success abroad, Wadsworth’s farewell address was a clarion call for the UK’s recorded music business to maintain its “passionate commitment” to creating an environment where new talent can thrive.

“The record label has never been more important than it is today. I am a great believer in the future of our industry – there has never been more demand for our product, and there has never been more ways available to the music fan to consume the music that we produce,” he said. Damon Albarn, who had a working relationship with Wadsworth through Parlophone Records, presented him with an honorary BRIT Award an Outstanding Contribution to the BPI and to the British Recorded Music Industry.