The Open Manifesto on Media and Creativity
Freedom of expression is an essential part of modern democracy and a thriving and openly competitive media industry is essential to provide avenues for creative citizens.
We will urgently review media ownership and we will press the Competition Commission, if possible in association with the European Commission to investigate vertical integration in media markets. Subject to the review to be carried out by the independent competition authorities at EU and national level, we favour the separation of content and carrier ownership and the imposition of a requirement that carriers have, and appear to have, no editorial input.
We are proud of the quality of BBC productions. The BBC itself is strong evidence, despite the theoretical objections of free-marketers, that the licence fee system works. Nevertheless, in view of the rapidly-changing economics of media transmission, we will constantly keep the licence fee under review.
We will, however, require the BBC – and all corporations and public bodies – to be more open with its accounting procedures.
We will urgently reform the law of libel, strengthening the defence of fair comment and removing the right of corporations to sue for libel. (We will, however, retain the right of corporations to sue for malicious falsehood).
We recognise the economic importance of copyright and Article 27(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We will carry out an evidence-based review of intellectual property laws and reform copyright in the light of that evidence.
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