How big are the "Creative Industries" in the UK?
"According to the Government's own analysis, the creative industries account for around 8% of UK GDP, and probably a rather larger proportion of total employment. That's roughly the same size as financial services, and a good sight less dangerous to the wider economy these industries seem to be too. Many would put the figures much higher. - Jeremy Warner in The Daily Telegraph.
How big is the photographic industry?
No-one really knows, in total.
According to Skillset: Labour market data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) do not provide the sectoral detail required by the Creative Media Industry and Skillset to identify and fill skills gaps and shortages. This is in part due to the way in which industries in the UK’s economy are classified and freelancers, who dominate the photo imaging sector, are systematically excluded.
How is the UK photographic industry composed?
According to Skillset, it is overwhelmingly composed of individual freelance professionals and micro-businesses:
Size of the Sector:
The photo imaging industry comprises almost 14,000 companies, almost half (49% and 6,800) of which are sole trading or freelance photographers. Of the remaining companies in the sector more than half (58%) are in photography, a third (35%) are retail, laboratories or image production companies, 5% are picture libraries and agencies and 3% are manufacturers or support services companies. As can be seen below in Figure 1 the industry is predominantly made up of small companies and freelancers; including the freelance photographers more than nine in ten (93%) of companies employ between 1 and 5 people, 5% employ between 6 and 10 people, 2% employ between 11 and 20, just 1% employ between 21 and 50 and just 0.5% are large and employ more than 50 people and many of these can be found in the sub-sector of manufacturing and support services.
Around 43,700 people work in the photo imaging industry which equates to around one tenth of the creative media workforce as a whole. The majority of the workforce operates within the area of photography (56%) or retail (30%) with the remainder employed in picture libraries and agencies (8%) or manufacturing or support services (7%).
That assessment does not include the vast army of part-timers who also generate saleable intellectual property. By definition those amateurs and semi-professionals will be individuals mostly operating on a cash basis when transacting their photographs, i.e. working in the black economy, and paying little tax on those transactions. It would be in the Treasury's interests to bring them into the white economy. Stop43's proposed scheme would facilitate this.
How has the photography industry changed over the last ten years?
In France, according to the Report of the Senate as translated by CEPIC, in the past decade:
- the value of royalties paid for photographs has reduced by 80% between 2005 and 2010;
- Within the last 10 years 52% of "photographic businesses" - including photographers and photo studios - have disappeared;
- Since 2001, there has been a 16% decrease in the numbers of staff photographers, and 30% of freelance photographers have quit;
- Up to 90% of images published in the press do not mention the name of the author, but instead are marked "DR";
- Only 3% to 20% of the "DR" images are actually truly "orphaned", i.e their author cannot be traced at all.
Whereas the situation in the UK differs somewhat from this, discussion on professional photographers' email lists of long standing with large memberships indicates that the UK position regarding declining numbers of professional photographers and their businesses is quite similar.
What proportion of the photographs held by UK cultural institutions are orphan?
According to the European Federation of Journalists in their September 2010 Newsletter, a digitalisation (sic) project in the UK found that 90% of the estimated 17 million photographs in UK museums are considered to be orphan works.
The Newsletter also states that
- a high number of orphan works are from the newspaper, photography, and movie industries
- a report on the "Assessment of the orphan works issue and costs for rights clearance" published by DG Information Society and Media of the European Commission shows that most cultural institutions in Europe are unwilling to pay for the use of orphan works
- While the Commission said that clearing rights of all orphan works will be too costly and slow, the EFJ believes that authors would be further exploited if procedures for rights clearance were omitted.
Stop43, being an entirely unfunded voluntary effort, does not have the resources to undertake primary economic research. Here is a collection of facts & figures pertaining to orphan works, copyright and the photographic industry that we have discovered elsewhere.