Yesterday the Musicians’ Union emphasised the importance of copyright as a vital source of income for creators; the day before the consultation period of the government’s proposals to change theUK’s copyright system, was due to end.

The government first announced proposals for copyright law reform, following recommendations made by Ian Hargreaves in his Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.

The Musicians’ Union has told the government that copyright and neighbourging rights for artists, need to be seen as more than an impediment to business and growth, with the general secretary for theUnion, John Smith, arguing: “We must return to regarding copyright and performers’ rights as a protection for performers and creators rather than as an unfair impediment.

“The only way to successfully do this is to focus on the way in which they protect musicians and artists who would be unable to maintain a career without the income that derives from them.”

Mr. Smith, added that only a small number of the Musicians’ Union members received regular salaries, with many being small and medium enterprises who rely on their copyright and performers’ rights to provide a significant part of their income.

In addition to emphasising the importance of copyright, the Musicians’Unionhave agreed that a private copying exception should be introduced, but only alongside fair compensation for musicians from device manufacturers.