November 18, 2009
TIGA today urged the Government to use the Digital Economy Bill to introduce a Statutory Industrial Classification (SIC) code for the games industry, in order to ensure that better quality information about the games industry is made available. TIGA also warned against an increase in business taxation and highlighted the potential impact that the Agency Workers Regulations could have on the games industry. TIGA made the comments in response to the Queen’s Speech.
Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“The Digital Economy Bill provides for a variety of important measures affecting the video games sector, including proposals to tackle online copyright infringement and establishing a classification system for boxed video games.
“Government and Parliament should take the opportunity afforded by the Bill to establish a Statutory Industrial Classification (SIC) code for the games industry. The establishment of an SIC code would help to ensure that accurate data on the video and computer games sector is more readily available to the Government and to the industry, and so help to ensure better policy making. If the UK is to prosper in the global digital economy then we must be able to measure the performance of digital industries like the video games sector. The introduction of an SIC should be guaranteed through the passage of the Bill in 2010.”
Richard Wilson also commented on two other Bills in the Queen’s Speech:
“The Agency Workers Regulations 2010, due to come into force on October 1st 2011, aim to ensure that after 12 weeks agency workers have a right to equal treatment with permanent staff with respect to pay, holidays and other key conditions. This directive could have a significant impact on any developers who use temporary workers. It is crucially important that the UK maintains its labour market flexibility in order to compete successfully against overseas.
“The Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which provides for putting the Government's deficit reduction plan on a statutory footing in order to half the deficit over 4 years, is only half of the story: how the deficit will be reduced is the key question and further details will not be revealed until the Pre-Budget Report on December 9th. It is vital that measures to cut the deficit do not result in higher taxes on business. This would only serve to undermine the competitiveness of UK businesses, including games companies.”
Notes to editors:
The main elements of the Digital Economy Bill are:
• Online infringement of copyright – tackling widespread copyright infringement via a two-stage process. First by making legal action more effective and educating consumers about copyright on-line. Second through reserve powers, if needed, to introduce technical measures, such as disconnection.
• Support the plurality of independent and high quality news in the Nations, locally and in the regions – giving Ofcom powers to appoint and fund Independently Funded News Consortia.
• Digital infrastructure and content – giving Ofcom new duties to promote investment in infrastructure and public service media content, and to carry out an assessment of the UK’s communications infrastructure every two years.
• Mobile and wireless broadband – enabling investment in next generation technologies through spectrum modernisation.
• Digital radio - updating the regulatory framework to make moves to digital switchover for radio possible by 2015.
• Channel 4 Corporation – updating its functions to encompass public service content on all media platforms - online as well as television.
• Video games – protecting children by making age ratings compulsory for all boxed games designed for those aged 12 or above.
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that Tiga members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
For further information, please contact Eva Whitlow, TIGA PR Manager on M 07814 039 983, or E firstname.lastname@example.org