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IP & the Brit Awards 2017

22 February 2017 | Posted in News

It’s been a CRACKING forty years since the first Brit Awards took place and tonight we welcome the return of the biggest celebration of musical talent that the UK has to offer. As we watch our favourite artists take to the stage to perform and accept these prestigious awards, it led me to wonder how intellectual property (in particular copyright) has played its part in helping musicians protect their work, as well as preventing forty-billion songs from being illegally downloaded every year.
It was during the late 90s that infamous download tool Napster was developed, which cost the music industry a serious amount of money before being shut down in 2001; this was a great year for music as Apple introduced us to their iconic ‘iPod’, altering the way we listen to music forever. 
The early 00s may have welcomed the arrival of music talent shows such as Pop Idol and Pop Stars, but the late 00s gladly welcomed the rise in popularity of live music with UK Music’s ‘Measuring Music’ reporting a total audience of 27.7 million attending music events in the UK in 2015. To protect the exclusivity of festivals such as ‘Glastonbury’, it is essential that they protect their assets. For example, ‘Glastonbury Festival’, ‘Glastonbury’ and the Festival’s official logo are all registered trade marks owned by company Glastonbury Festivals Limited.
In more recent years, the Brit Awards have hosted superstars such as Taylor Swift who has famously spoken out about the effects of copyright stating that “piracy, file sharing and illegal downloading have shrunk the number of paid album sales drastically”; but according to Geoff Taylor (Chief Executive of the BPI, the representative body for UK record labels, and of Brit Awards Ltd), 16 years since sites like Napster began to rule the music download scene, we have witnessed a 35% decline in UK illegal downloading displaying a new found understanding and respect for other people’s intellectual property.  
If you’re interested in a career in the music industry but wonder how you can protect your work from being copied the Cracking Ideas website has an array of resources designed to help you understand the world of IP and get the credit you deserve.  
The Intellectual Property Office's corporate plan for 2016-19 has a target to "ensure teachers can access the high quality learning resources needed to prepare the future generation for IP challenges in the workplace."
So the Cracking Ideas team has created Think Kit; a comprehensive resource pack designed to help teachers of GCSE or NQ Business Studies, Media Studies, Design Technology or Music get you thinking about innovation and how you can protect and benefit from creativity. Development of the resources was funded by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The resource includes detailed lesson plans for each subject, backed up by case study materials that put IP issues in a real-life context to get you thinking about how you would feel if your ideas were copied. 
Here's what people are saying about Think Kit - "The toolkit can help convey they messages that everyone can innovate, creativity has value, ownership should be respected and innovation and creativity can be linked to financial reward and are fun and exciting".

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