How to protect a £71bn industry

There were some intriguing responses from the design world to the recent announcement that the creative industries contribute £71 billion a year to the UK economy.

Parliament

Source: J-Cornelius

Many see this as a potential springboard for design, to help promote and further its cause.

Suggestions for ways in which Government could support this ranged from introducing a business-focused approach to help UK designers find work internationally; making design and creativity key parts of the National Curriculum; and introducing a Secretary for Creative Industries (or a Secretary for the Future, Creativity and Science).

Other proposals (all from SomeOne’s Simon Manchipp) included design critics installed in all major UK newspapers.

A design version of Mad Men to show just how much sex, drugs and rock and roll exist in the creative departments of the UK’s top design practices — and how much money they make for their clients.

And ‘Danny Dyer to receive a new character to join him at the Queen Vic — they are of course a designer, and they radically (and positively) transform the fortunes of Albert Square.’

Meanwhile, back in the drier world of politics, the Intellectual Property Bill continued to make its way through Parliament – presenting an immediate way in which Government can support design.

The Bill would criminalise deliberate design copying and could offer vital protection for designers who currently find themselves largely defenceless against copycats.

However, the Bill has also met with criticism – with group Anti-Copying in Design suggesting it doesn’t go far enough, and Minister David Willetts’ announcement that ‘accidental’ copying wouldn’t be criminal offence meeting with a mixed response.

IP protection is a major issue for many UK designers, and we hope that as the Bill progresses through Parliament it becomes more focused, effective and can be a clear example of Government supporting the creative industries from which it makes so much money.

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