In a speech to the British Phonographic Industry last night, David Cameron promised action against copyright theft and to extend the copyright term to seventy years. In return he urged the industry to be more socially responsible in its output. He asked his audience a series of questions:
"Does music help create, rather than just reflect, a culture?
Is some music, are some lyrics, are some videos and are some artists, helping to create a culture in which an anti-learning culture, truancy, knifes, violence, guns, misogyny are glorified?
Can we see the effects of this on our young people, in our schools and on our streets?
Do we think we can combat this culture by government policies, policing and criminal justice alone?
The Tory leader continued with a call for the music industry to provide positive role models for young people. He said there would be no censorship, legislation or banning of content but he called for leadership and responsible exercise of power:
"Already, schemes like rhyme4respect, which encourages positive
lyrics in music, is leading the way, showing that the music industry
recognises its responsibility and takes this issue seriously…
I really do welcome that… but I think we all know we need more.
So when it comes to helping fix our broken society, it is not enough for the music industry to sponsor community projects…. You can make a difference by providing positive role models for
young kids to look up to, draw inspiration from and aspire to be."
This is an issue that the Conservative leader has addressed before. It chimes with the pro-family message that is at the heart of his Conservatism. Will the music industry respond positively to his invitation? I don’t advise anyone to hold their breath.