The European Commission and the British government have thrown their support behind a conference spotlighting intellectual property.

The European Commission and the British government have thrown their support behind a conference spotlighting intellectual property.

The Creative Economy assembly will be held Oct. 5-7 in London, under the auspices of the United Kingdom's European Union presidency. The program will follow central themes of education, creativity, business opportunities, enforcement and access. A showcase will spotlight British talent; details have yet to be announced.

Speaking today (Feb. 2) to unveil the initiative, U.K. culture secretary Tessa Jowell said the conference aims to build upon the country's existing IP forum. "We need to raise our game to secure the future of our creative industries and fight against our old adversary -- piracy," Jowell said. "We know we cannot work alone -- this is a global challenge which needs a global solution. That's why we're teaming up with our European neighbors, to make sure we can all compete on a worldwide stage."

In an endeavor to explore solutions to IP theft, the government last July set up a forum representing all sectors of the British creative industries. EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli was appointed music industry representative to the forum, which is chaired jointly by arts minister Estelle Morris and retail magnate Lord Sainsbury.

Britain's creative industries are worth £53.4 billion ($100 billion) each year and are the fastest growing sector in the country, according to the department for culture, media and sport. IP crime in Britain, however, is estimated at £11 billion ($20.67 billion) each year.

The British Copyright Council and the British Screen Advisory Council are hosting the IP conference.

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