CREATe Working Paper 2014/8 asks What Do Musicians Talk About When They Talk About Copyright?

The eighteenth release in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available for download. Intellectual Property Values: What Do Musicians Talk About When They Talk About Copyright? by John Street and Tom Phillips explores the attitudes of musicians for whom music is not their main source of income, specifically in terms of how they think and talk about copyright. It considers how aspiring musicians think about ‘music’, about themselves as musicians and about the relationship between copyright and wider social values.

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Trans- Inter- and Cross- Disciplinarity at the 9th EPIP Conference, Brussels

CREATe researcher Kris Erickson at the European Parliament, site of EPIP 2014

CREATe researcher Kris Erickson at the European Parliament, site of EPIP 2014

What do we mean when we speak about interdisciplinarity? For a research centre situated at the cross currents of law, technology, economics and cultural studies, the question is not trivial. This year’s conference of the European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) Association (to which CREATe was invited to present a session) provided an opportunity to think about how scholars operating in this space talk to one another and to a wider policy audience. The event was hosted by the European Commission and the European Parliament, and organized by Georg von Graevenitz (Queen Mary University of London, and CREATe Fellow in Innovation Economics).

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Imagination Scotland Festival session on the media

Imagination-Festival-of-Ideas-Horizontal-HeadProf. Philip Schlesinger, CREATe’s Deputy Director, set the context for debate and chaired the session on the media in Scotland at Imagination, Scotland’s First Festival of Ideas, held at Govanhill Baths in Glasgow’s Southside on 7 September. The panel included radio producer Liz Leonard, communications consultant Alex Bell and researcher and Imagination co-producer Gerry Hassan. A highly attentive audience clearly recognised that there were no simple answers for Scotland’s media future,whether in the field of public policy or how different media markets would evolve. Whether it’s devo-max or independence after 18 September, similar questions are likely to be faced.

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The Startup Manifesto

manifesto-coverWith 9 months to go until the next general election in the UK, and as the political parties are writing their own manifestos, CREATe partner Coadec has published the Startup Manifesto to influence the debate.

It has been backed by over 175 startup founders, investors and others from the community. See here for the full list of supporters.

The Startup Manifesto sets out 24 ways the next government can make the UK a world leader on digital innovation:

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CREATe “All Hands” Conference, Glasgow, September 15 – 16th, 2014

hfaal-extCREATe’s first All Hands meeting will take place in Glasgow on September 15th and 16th. The venue will be the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed House for An Art Lover. The event, principally aimed at CREATe consortium members and associated projects, will provide an opportunity to internally showcase our collective efforts, with some invited external inputs and perspectives. We hope it will be enlightening, interesting, and fun. Continue reading

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Last Weekend to See British Folk Art at Tate Britain

Blue Ship Detail

Detail of ‘The Blue Ship’ by Alfred Wallis, on display as part of the British Folk Art exhibition. Photo credit: Tate, the estate of Alfred Wallis.

Last month I had the opportunity to visit the British Folk Art exhibition at the Tate Britain in London, which runs until 31st August. This small but carefully-curated show will likely be of interest to copyright researchers and those interested in quotidian, outsider and craft art production. As someone who works on the intellectual property status of amateur media, I was drawn to this exhibition on a sunny Saturday in July, to find out if I could make any linkages between Kickstarter fan-fiction and the long trajectory of craft artisanship going back to Neolithic times. Knowing very little about folk art forms before my visit, it turns out there were many interesting connections to be made between current-day digital practices and the body of folk art presented in this exhibit.

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Quit Playing Around: Monkey Stirs Up Copyright Controversy with Selfie

Monkey takes photos on camera

Macaca nigra self-portrait/ Wikimedia Commons

Guestpost by Emily Goodhand, first appeared here.

This week saw the return of the ‘monkey selfie’ story. A British wildlife photographer was photographing crested black macaque monkeys in Indonesia when the monkeys began to show an interest in his equipment and started taking pictures of themselves. One of the photos found its way on to Wikimedia and the photographer threatened to sue for copyright infringement and damages.

Wikimedia put it to a community vote and eventually refused to take the photo off the public domain section of the website Wikimedia Commons. So, if the monkey took the photograph, who really owns its copyright?

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New CREATe Working Paper (2014/07) Explores the Role of the Literature Review

The seventeenth release in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available to download.
Literature reviews as a means of communicating progress in research by Ruth Towse (CREATe Fellow in Cultural Economics, University of Glasgow and Professor Economics  of Creative Industries, CIPPM, Bournemouth University) challenges the perception that literature reviews do not produce ‘answers’, a common criticism.

Literature reviews are a standard means of communicating and evaluating the state of academic research that are useful both for those working in a particular field and for those who wish to find out what others are doing. They are limited, though, to what has been achieved to date. It seems to be the case, however, that reporting results of literature reviews to the industries requires more than just summaries: it also requires clarification of the environment of academic research and publication. Academic journals do not (or may not have) publish(ed) articles on some topics as there is neither academic interest nor expertise, or a topic may just not be in anyone’s career interests; journals can only publish articles that are submitted; and some topics may not be amenable to academic research because access to data is lacking or there are other information problems. Evaluation of progress often involves identifying gaps in knowledge and topics for further research. It can therefore seem to industry that academics are neither addressing the problems that matter to them but are more concerned with their own. These issues are discussed in this paper.

A related recent post by the authors of CREATe’s scoping review on file-sharing (that stimulated Professor Towse’s piece) is here:
Evidence quality in intellectual property research: A comparison with the medical sciences

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Copyright Exceptions in Parliament

The letter reproduced below was sent on 6 June 2014 by UK Intellectual Property Law Professors to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee on Secondary Legislation, addressing (in their view unjustified) concerns about the implementation of new copyright exceptions for Parody and Quotation, and Personal Copying for Private Use. The letter was cited in the House of Commons Grand Committee on 9 July and in the House of Lords on 29 July. The exceptions will now come into force on 1 October 2014.

Update 30 July 2014:
The Copyright Regulations 2014, introducing exceptions for Parody and Quotation, and Personal Copying for Private Use were passed by the House of Lords on 29 July.
Hansard transcript link below, including motion to approve by the new IP Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe:

Update 20 July 2014:
On 9 July, the two draft Copyright Regulations were discussed by the Tenth Delegated Legislation Committee, and approved by the House of Commons on 14 July.
Transcript of Committee proceedings, including speech by David Willetts (then Minister for  Universities and Science), here:

There will be a debate and vote in the House of Lords on 29 July 2014.!/calendar/Lords/MainChamber/2014/7/29/events.html

Update 27 June 2014:
The Committee sat on 25 June. The two Statutory Instruments under scrutiny were “not drawn to the special attention of the house”.

Download PDF version of the letter

Letter by UK Intellectual Property Law Professors

Mr George Mudie MP
Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments
House of Parliament

6 June 2014

Dear Mr Mudie

Draft Statutory Instruments on Exceptions to Copyright

We, the undersigned professors of intellectual property, write to convey our regret that the progress of these important instruments has been delayed, and hope to offer the Committee some further help in resolving its concerns. We have seen the letter from the British Copyright Council (BCC) dated May 12 2014 and wish to respond to the legal questions raised at points 2-5 of that letter.  We assume that the first point raised by the BCC, which relates to contractual overrides, is now moot, as Parliament has already recognised the legitimacy of such overrides in two of the three statutory instruments passed in the last session (SI 2014/1372 and 1384).

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Fanfiction: Creators, communities and copyright

In the second of an ongoing series of features, Philippa Warr explores the recent trend of cloned games on mobile platforms and some of the legal and regulatory issues that the phenomenon raises.

Fanfiction: Creators, communities and copyright.

From zombie apocalypses in Merlin to elevator-confined World Wrestling Entertainment fighter romances and Twilight/Meerkat Manor crossover massacres, the online fan community has proven adept at taking characters from books, TV shows, movies and games and using them to create their own content.

Probably the most famous example is fanfiction. The original source material becomes a toolkit for fanfiction authors. Existing characters or locations are put to use in telling new stories which now live in vast online repositories like Some tweak the existing material to better suit the new author – what if a favourite character had lived rather than died? What if a romantic relationship had blossomed between another pair? Others move closer to original fiction, using the familiar setting but adding original characters, storylines and so on.

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