The British recording industry is asking the government to consider granting tax credits for investments in recordings.

The British recording industry is asking the government to consider granting tax credits for investments in recordings.

The measure would provide a much-needed boost to an industry investing heavily in new talent, according to Peter Jamieson, executive chairman of trade body the British Phonographic Industry.

Speaking at the organization's annual general meeting in London today (July 14), Jamieson said he hopes to open "a formal dialog" with the government on this issue, which he said is extended to many other industries as part of their R&D investments.

"I can think of no better single action by which the government could extend their support to the music industry in the area it needs it most -- the area of extreme risk reward where currently the hits have to fund the misses, or companies go out of business," he said.

In his speech, Jamieson asked the British government to be actively involved in changing the European legislation on the term of extension of copyright for recordings. It is currently set in the European Union at 50 years since the date of recording, against 95 years in the United States.

"British and European music cannot be expected to succeed on an international stage with one arm tied behind its back, because it does not enjoy the same period of protection at home as is given to recordings from America, Brazil, Australia and other competitor countries," Jamieson said.

"If the government is really serious about making Britain a leading knowledge economy and facilitating online trade in music, then it must lead the charge to extend the term," he added.

Jamieson also alluded to the decision taken by the BPI to refer collecting society MCPS-PRS to the Copyright Tribunal over its proposed online rates.

He said the government understood that it was a commercial dispute and that it did not affect the way the industry acted in a united way in other areas.

Jamieson also qualified the recent comments made about this action by MCPS-PRS Alliance chairman Adam Singer during his organizations annual meeting as "unnecessary and ill judged invective," and suggested that the industry should have "our debates in private rather than in public."

The BPI's position on this issue was that "the doors remain open as always for negotiation," Jamieson said, but that if negotiation continues to fail, then "the dispute will go to tribunal for arbitration."