EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti called for greater innovation throughout the music industry and an enforced change in copyright law during his keynote address at the inaugural "c&binet forum" -- a three-day business and creative industry conference held in Hertfordshire, England (Oct. 26-Oct. 28).

Speaking to Patience Wheatcroft, editor of the Wall Street Journal Europe, earlier today (Oct. 27), a relaxed Leoni-Sceti said that the music industry had suffered "because of the lack of innovation at one end and because of the lack of regulation on the other."

The U.K. Government, said Leoni-Sceti, "needs to legislate, so that there is a very clear reference" for copyright law in the digital space. "This can and should happen as soon as possible to clear the parameters of what is allowed."

Leoni-Sceti went onto say that he favoured a "graduated response" to regular infringers of copyright law, similar to the controversial "three strikes law" proposed in France, "that is gentler at the beginning and tough at the end."

That view was echoed by Vivendi chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy, who spoke earlier in the day and stated that "Britain should be more in favour of developing the media industries," adding that it was obvious that the U.K. needs to "be doing something like three strikes."

"As long as legal models are more enjoyable than illegal ones then we're moving in the right direction," Leoni-Sceti later stated, citing Swedish streaming service Spotify as an example of a good legal service and P2P network Limewire as the personification of a "terrible" illegal one.

Leoni-Sceti was appointed as chief executive of EMI Music July 7 last year, after 16 years at household cleaning products firm Reckitt Benckiser (Billboard.biz, July 7 2008).

C&binet is a not-for-profit network, created by the U.K. Government's Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport to link the international creative and commercial communities to grow the global creative economy.

Other notable speakers present at c&binet included David Lammy Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property in the Dept. for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In his speech, Lammy proposed a "copyright regime, which serves the ordinary customer." He added: "I don't want to see a regime based on arbitrary rules, I want to see one which recognizes how consumers act in the digital age. It has to recognize how they want to act. It must ensure that it allows limited copying for personal use of lawfully obtained material."

Referring to a series of consultations that he has carried out with labels, rights holders over the past year, Lammy went onto say that "the mechanisms by which copyright operates can be too complex" and that "the systems need to keep evolving in the digital age."

"The U.K. must continue to encourage and support wider innovation and improve access to copyright works," he added, "but we can do relatively little domestically. A great deal of policy making is harmonised at European level and progress simply can't be made without a European consensus... I want to see the U.K. play a greater role in influencing European action."

C&binet culminates tomorrow (Oct. 28) with keynote speeches from Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.