How will the Smart Fund work?

The Smart Fund works on the principle that technology manufacturers can play a vital role in paying creators in the same way that other service providers pay rightsholders when delivering creative content to the public.

Manufacturers pay a small fraction of the value of each device they sell into a fund that is paid out to creators and local community projects with a focus on digital creativity and skills.

It is an established principle in rights management that service providers pay rightsholders so that the users don’t have to. From streaming services to TV broadcast, publishing to educational institutions – all these sectors clear rights and pay rightsholders on behalf of their users.

This fund would then be paid out by collecting societies to artists, musicians, performers, authors, TV and film directors and other creative talent to keep them creating the content that enriches our user experience of tech in the first place.

Payment for creators and performers

The UK is behind other countries in keeping up with technological developments.

Every day, millions of people access and store content like music, art, books and films on their personal digital devices. Whether downloading films and albums, or sending pictures to our friends, we use creative content to stay connected and express ourselves.

Unlike streaming services or some social media, storing and sharing creative content for personal use infringes the creators’ copyright, and creators do not get paid. Other countries have already solved this problem by changing copyright to make storing and sharing content lawful, and paying the creators in the meantime.

Leading manufacturers are already paying into similar schemes in 45 countries around the world, generating over £900 million a year for creators and performers.

UK legislation has failed to keep up with technology, meaning creative communities lose out on investment.

The Smart Fund seeks to bring the UK on track by working collaboratively with technology manufacturers to invest not only in creators but in communities too.