The UK Government Tackles Copyright Education

Mike Weatherley MP’s Forward to his report on Copyright Education and Awareness begins:

Big BenThe UK is an Intellectual Property (IP) rich country: we are an IP exporting economy. Our creative industries, technology businesses and service sectors, plus many others, are all underpinned by intellectual capital. IP even helps pay for the services we all treasure. The importance of creating, respecting and promoting IP for both inward and outward investment could not be greater.

My role over the last year as IP Adviser to the Prime Minister has reinforced my view that tackling IP related infringement is a complex and multi-layered challenge. There is not one answer. I have been clear from the outset that I believe all solutions must be guided by three main principles:

  • Education – winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of consumers about the importance of protecting IP.
  • Carrot – industry must change their models to be attractive to consumers.
  • Stick – when all else fails, enforcement. This includes wider issues about compliance as well, for example what the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Search Engines, Advertisers and banking sectors can do to assist with compliance.

MP Weatherly reached out to others for support in his efforts to educate Britains about Intellectual Property and Copyright law through the school systems.


Intellectual property underpins our creative industries. It’s what our past success was built on and it’s what our future success depends on. We need to get the message across that if people value creativity – and most do – then it has to be paid for.

‘Education plays a vitally important role in changing people’s behaviour. By communicating the vital importance of copyright, not just to the success of our creative industries but to the many jobs these sectors will create, we hope to bring about behavioural change.

–Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP,
Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport

Our future creators need to know how to protect their creative output and innovation. Our future economic wellbeing lies with them. Artists, designers, musicians, scientists and engineers all need to understand IP. We can make IP part of the school curriculum, especially in design and technology lessons.

–Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG,
Minister for Intellectual Property

“In a digital world understanding IP and its importance is absolutely essential for people of all ages and particularly those who have grown up in this new world. Education about these issues is key to that understanding.”

–Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West,
Shadow Minister for Schools

“We need a culture change in how creators’ IP rights are respected. The most effective way we can do this is through imaginative education initiatives which show the direct impact of piracy on artists’ livelihoods and the positive way that upholding their copyright enables them to benefit us all.”

–Lord Tim Clement Jones
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for
Culture, Media and Sport in the House of Lords

“Intellectual Property is a simple concept with a complicated reputation: we encourage pupils to write stories, paint pictures, take photographs and put on plays, so it is a small step to understand that those creations may have a value to society and can be traded. It’s critical that we help creators understand their rights have real value at the earliest possible stage in life. Government, industry, schools and teachers, need to play their respective parts to the full. We are at risk of losing a generation of people who don’t comprehend their right to benefit from copies of their works, or recognise how valuable this can be for their and society’s future.”

–Crispin Hunt
General Secretary Featured Artist
Coalition, Songwriter, Musician, Producer

As copyright is the lifeblood of publishers, a basic knowledge of copyright law is crucial to working effectively with authors on such issues as transfers of copyright, terms of copyright, terminations and ownership. Learn more in our Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers authored by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris L. Hanney with a foreword by Tracey Armstrong.


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