Media Release: Society promotes debate on modernisation of intellectual property laws to protect Scotland

THE importance of intellectual property law to Scotland’s creative industries and the need for a robust protection system which is fit for the digital age will be up for discussion at the Law Society of Scotland’s seminar at this year’s Festival of Politics, at which Pete Wishart MP will be speaking.

The Society’s IP Law Committee has considered changes to UK law to protect and promote Scotland’s creative industries. Pete Wishart MP and former member of Scottish band Runrig, believes that intellectual property (IP) law, which includes legal protections such as copyright, patents, trademarks and domain names, has a vital role to play in the protection and development of the arts and that the current system needs overhauled in the wake of huge technological advance.

Wishart said: “Intellectual property is a topic that is very close to my heart.

“It’s often regarded as a legal or business issue, but we have some incredible examples of innovation in the creative sector in Scotland.

“We have a large number of talented artists and designers living and working here and Scotland is regarded as a centre of excellence for gaming. We must make sure this talent is protected.”

Wishart added: “Improving the IP system is crucial to the future development and success of our creative industries and allows those involved in the creative industry from artists, film makers and designers to be rewarded and credited for their work as well as providing an environment that encourages creativity.

“I’m delighted to be able to speak on this issue at this year’s Festival of Politics, given the backdrop of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the world’s biggest arts festival.”

Wishart will also examine the recommendations arising from the recent UK Government consultation, the Hargreaves Review, which has urged the modernisation of intellectual property law.

Solicitor, Paul Carlyle, from of the Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee, is set to address how people currently access content through mobile devices, the development of the iCloud, an online file storing facility and map out the potential future landscape.

The Law Society of Scotland seminar, IP and the Law in a Digital Age, takes place at the Festival of Politics on Friday 26 August, in committee room 1 at the Scottish Parliament from 4pm – 5pm.

ENDS 18 August 2011

Notes to editors

Pete Wishart was elected as MP for Perth and North Perthshire in 2001.

This is the seventh year of the Festival of Politics. Over the past six years, the festival has attracted over 175,000 visitors to the Scottish Parliament. This year’s festival theme is renewing politics in the age of new media.

The Festival, which runs from 20 – 27 August, presents a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS: Please note, we have an allocation of media tickets available, any journalists interested in attending should contact Emily Young on 0131 476 8204 or

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