Welcome to BluePencil!
We are very proud to be launching at the Cannes Film Festival, and our launch edition is somewhat eclectic and reflects the nature and diversity of the film industry. The Creative Industries are a very broad church and arguably we could be placing our emphasis in manufacturing, innovation and design, but the focus for BluePencil is the world of the media, music and arts.
Whether you are a creative from a large international concern or a small independent producer, we hope there is in BluePencil something of use and interest to you.
The magazine and its online presence will flag and explain the key legal developments affecting the Creative Industries. We are deriving our contributors from around the world so as to help you join up the dots in this complex world of international media law. We will be planning various exciting developments and spin-offs for BluePencil, and we will tell you more as the weeks unfold.
This first edition has a broad range of articles representing different facets of the Creative Industries, but also showing their relevance to film, broadcast and media.
The world is currently going through a whirlwind of economic revolution with the emergence of economies such as the BRIC Nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), as well as the rampant expansion of the Internet. Ten years ago we had not heard of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and an Android was something from a sci-fi film.
Most economies place great emphasis on design, and innovation as a major part of their economic sustainability. The media plays a significant role culturally, but also as a vital international business.
The move from 35mm film to digital will transform the opportunities to watch content, and hopefully provide a platform for greater diversity of content. The Internet is challenging traditional ways of watching TV, a film, listening to the radio or music.
The Internet is making it increasingly more difficult for regulation to remain just at a national level, and is also proving to be a major tool in promoting democracy and free speech; just look at Libya and Egypt for instance.
YOU ARE HERE TO HELP US THE ARTISTS, THE CREATORS, THE SCIENTISTS. BECAUSE WITHOUT OUR RIGHTS, WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY TO CONTINUE THERE WILL BE NO MORE ARTS, THERE WILL BE NO MORE CREATIVITY, THERE WILL BE NO MORE CIVILISATION.
The power and worth of Intellectual Property (IP) rights has never been more acute whether it is copyright ownership of a film or a piece of music, patent to an item of technology, or the image rights attached to a photograph. They all have their influence on what is happening in the film, TV and other media as much as any other walk of life.
BluePencil's prime role as a magazine is to highlight all the key legal changes and developments around the world and how they impact on the Creative Industries.
There are no longer fixed boundaries as a newspaper is much a TV and radio programme, whilst a radio programme is much a TV show as a radio programme. Watching films is not the preserve of sitting in front of the TV set, nor a trek to the local cinema, but watching on an iPad or iPhone.
The media and Creative Industries are not in their own comfort bubble, but influence and are influenced, by the society around them and what is happening in other worlds of design and innovation.
BluePencil is to inform and explain the an evolving legal landscape which is keeping pace with technological change and a changing society. We are independent and neutral; we are not a campaigning organisation. However, in giving understanding to legal changes and developments, we consider it is essential that we challenge what is happening and place matters in context.
Some of the most important issues to confront the Creative Industries involve balancing privacy and freedom of speech - just look at the United Kingdom‚Äôs current Leveson enquiry into media responsibility. Also, balancing access to creative material and ensuring the creators protect the value of their creativity, and can properly monetise their efforts.
I and my brother, Stuart, the co-founder of BluePencil appreciate the value and heritage of the Creative Industries. When we see a film upon which our father worked, or news footage he shot or produced for ITN - there is the legacy to that work.
The Creative Industries transcend borders, politics and language. I could speak to a Russian or Chinese person and neither of us need understand each other - but if you mentioned the names of Mick Jagger, Martin Scorcese and Michelangelo we would have immediately something mutually in common in terms of recognition and appreciation.
The Creative Industries add a significant value to the world economies; arguably the ownership of IP rights is more important than money in isolation.
Whilst attending the inauguration of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) new administration centre in Geneva last September the audience was addressed by renowned opera singer Barbara Hendricks who said referring to WIPO '... you are here to help us the artists, the creators, the scientists. Because without our rights, without the possibility to continue there will be no more arts, there will be no more creativity, there will be no more civilisation.'
We decided to base ourselves at the world famous Pinewood Film Studios, and were immediately overwhelmed by the energy, excitement and encouragement of not only the many talented people at Pinewood, but also the Pinewood Group itself; that warm reception has been a source of great support and inspiration and for that we thank everyone at Pinewood.
I am a practicing lawyer in media and entertainment work, and as such know what it is like at the coal face.
ABOVE ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT TO US IS OUR READERSHIP.
We have a sister business being established as a media fund for film and documentary, and Stuart (helped by his international banking background) is busy setting up its infrastructure. Importantly, we are not looking to set up a cosy tax structure where the priority is on getting the tax relief. We place the emphasis on helping ensure great films and documentaries can be made and the return to the investor is driven by the quality and creativity of the film or programme.
Like most things, we are on a steep learning curve and the magazine will evolve. The area of creativity produces a huge range of legal issues relating to the Creative Industries sector, and as such whilst we will have our core topics, we will indulge in looking at other sectors of the Creative Industries given one facet is influenced by another.
Above all the most important aspect to us is our readership. We are very keen to know your thoughts; including what you like in our magazine and what you do not like, what issues you would like covered and what additional services, we are already exploring legal awareness training days.
In this magazine, we include an interview with Steve Cropley of the world renowned Autocar; what has cars to do with media? His interview 'what have cars...' draws some helpful parallels to the film and TV world. The car industry is going through a technological seismic shift as it moves to hybrids and alternative fuels, just as the film industry has the challenge of the Internet, and loss of 35mm there are increasing ways to view material.
Further, we are in the age of the global market and different viewing outlets. Likewise, the car industry is having to create products that have a mass worldwide appeal.
...LOOKING AT OTHER SECTORS OF THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES GIVEN ONE SECTOR IS INFLUENCED BY ANOTHER.
Finally, and this may seem a presumptuous remark, but Autocar has built a strong reputation for its knowledge, insight and objectivity so much so that car manufacturers are willing to take their advice and be influenced by what Autocar says. We at BluePencil would like to think that our ultimate goal is to mirror the success of Autocar and be recognised as a leading authority on the legal issues relevant to the Creative Industries, thus giving understanding to the complex legality which underpins the Creative Industries.
I hope you enjoy the magazine and that you will subscribe to us.