CREATe support Stationers’ Register Online project

A new CREATe project will help advance the study of historical copyright by making the Stationers’ Register fully searchable, in a freely accessible online database.

The Register is an unequalled resource for literary scholars, book historians and all those interested in the early history of copyright. The origins of Anglo-American copyright begin in the mid sixteenth-century with the commencement of a series of ledgers kept by the Stationers’ Company of London, that are now collectively known as the Stationers’ Register.

Register D, f.69, the entry of Shakespeare’s First Folio to Blount & Jaggard

In these ledgers, early publishers including those of William Shakespeare, John Milton, Thomas Hobbes and  thousands of other authors, musicians and artists sought protection from their works being copied and printed.  Edward Arber’s printed edition of the earliest entries, published in the 1890s, has remained the standard way of accessing the Register: although invaluable, it does not permit complex searching or quantitative analysis. Continue reading

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CREATe Public Lectures 2017: Plagiarism in music copyright

Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before: plagiarism in music copyright’ as part of CREATe Public Lectures 2017

Where can you draw the invisible ‘line in the sand’ which separates an infringing piece of music from one that simply draws on the influence of other works for inspiration? In this interactive CREATe Public Lecture, composer and music publisher Dr Simon Anderson, attempts to answer this question. The interactive presentation examines plagiarism cases that have been heard before the English courts in recent years, with music clips and scores to facilitate comparison. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote on whether they think a tune infringes or not. Continue reading

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The ICCA cultural industries and digital platforms workshop

Blog post by Florence Thepot, CREATe Associate and Lecturer in Competition and European Union Law, University of Glasgow 

On 14 and 15th November 2016, I attended the international workshop on Cultural industries and digital platforms organised by the LabEx ICCA in Paris.

LabEx ICCA (University Paris 13 and University Paris 3) is an interdisciplinary research centre specialising in the creative economy. They focus on how changes such as digitisation are impacting various dimensions of the creative industry, including the emergence of new business models, methods of consumption etc.

The workshop was the second international workshop organised by the LabEx ICCA and took place at the Maison de la Recherche de l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, in Paris 5th arrondissement just near the Pantheon. Continue reading

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CREATe IP Summer Summit 2017 (26 – 30 June)

We are delighted to launch the CREATe IP Summer Summit (CIPSS’17) at the University of Glasgow! This year’s theme is ‘Open Science and Open Culture’ with a special focus on development in the Global South.

Openness is an aspirational goal to build transparent and participative societies. Does this conflict with international IP policy that prescribes complex arrangements of exclusive property rights as part of the global free trade area? The 1994 WTO TRIPS agreement sets minimum standards of protection for copyright, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs and patents, restricting the use of knowledge goods in order to encourage their production. A development agenda for copyright law, in particular, has remained polarised. Rules were set at a time when countries in the Global South ‘were barely at the threshold of the digital revolution‘.

The “Open Science and Open Culture” summit lays the foundation to assess if countries in the global south need to move through traditional closed scientific and cultural models first. Are there opportunities to ‘leapfrog’ to open access and open data practices in educational resources and science, and to participatory digitization and disintermediated access to markets in relation to culture? What are the regulatory flexibilities, and legal and social hurdles to realising the benefits of openness?  Continue reading

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Book Now: Cultural Institution Roundtable Event on 24th March

How does copyright impact institutional access policies and use of our shared cultural heritage locally and internationally?

The Cultural Institution Roundtable Event is a half-day discussion, organised by CREATe, the National Library of Scotland and i-Publishing Consultants to explore this essential question.

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Copyright and Brexit: the Case for a Related Right for Press Publishers

‘Copyright and Brexit’ as part of CREATe Public Lectures

Prof Martin Kretschmer (Director, CREATe) offering a CREATe tartan scarf to Prof. Thomas Hoppner as a ‘thank you’ for coming to give a Public Lecture.

Academics are arguing that aspects of the proposed EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, such as the press publishers right, will be harmful for access to information and digital dissemination of news. This view has been supported by CREATe public lectures hosted recently in Glasgow.

  • Proposed EU Directive (Read here).
  • Kretschmer’s CREATe Public Lecture (Read and see here).
  • Xalabarder’s Public Lecture (Read and see here).

But, are there any merits of a related right for press publishers in the proposed directive?
Are there any economical and technological perspectives of such a right?
Are there any lessons for the post-Brexit UK copyright regime?

On February 14th, Thomas Hoppner (Partner at Hausfeld, Berlin, a global law firm; Professor of Civil Law, Business Law and Intellectual Property Law, Wildau Technical University of Applied Sciences; &; Visiting Professor at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) spoke on “EU copyright reform: the case for a related right for press publishers”.

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Upcoming early career research development workshops in CREATe

Early career researchers, PhD students and faculty are welcome to come along to the following upcoming workshop events in CREATe.

On Tuesday 14th February 2017 from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm, we will be discussing Methods for investigating digital platforms: algorithms and affordances. The purpose of this workshop is to share and discuss techniques and methodological challenges related to investigating creative industries activity in online settings. CREATe researchers will share recent research design processes for investigating behavior on YouTube, Amazon and Kickstarter. Attendees are encouraged to bring specific questions related to their own online research challenges for group discussion. The recommended readings linked on the events page here provide context and theoretical underpinning for understanding the ‘method as the message’ in online research.

Please note that immediately following the meeting on 14th February, a public lecture will be given by Professor Thomas Höppner on the topic of EU copyright reform: the case for a related right for press publishers. All are welcome to attend, but we ask that participants please register for the lecture on the event page.

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Competition v public service? The hidden logic of TV policy in the UK

CREATe Industry Fellow Richard Paterson, Head of Research and Scholarship at the BFI

This blog by CREATe Deputy Director, Philip Schlesinger, introduces ‘The competition discourse in British broadcasting policy‘ – a Working Paper authored by CREATe Industry Fellow Richard Paterson.

In his analysis, Richard Paterson revisits the history of broadcasting policy formation. Returning to the 1950s when the first rationales for competition were fully enunciated, he shows how by degrees such ideas have moved from the margins to occupy centre stage in shaping the TV market-place. Paterson’s account – which involves a painstaking reconstruction of the key steps on the road to where we are now – should give us all pause. While he thinks that the UK’s original vertically integrated duopolistic system demonstrated considerable strengths in global competition, he is not nostalgic about this, recognising that the structures were of their time and place and that a new framework needed to be invented. But he does not think that in this regard policy makers have been up to the task of looking after the national interest.

Paterson reminds us of the various kinds of industry lobbying that have occurred for decades (not least by ‘independent’ producers and major corporations) and astutely analyses a long-term policy failure in assessing the risks of a particular kind of competition agenda, not least in ignoring lessons from the USA just as they became apposite. Unusually in present debate, Richard Paterson demonstrates the value of taking the long view in understanding how ideas and perspectives become embedded and taken for granted – and somehow, it now seems, beyond criticism.

Paterson’s Working Paper is a provocation to us all to think afresh. He argues that our present TV landscape shares a great deal with the British film industry, not least because it is heavily dependent on US players and its genuinely independent actors are small and weak. A key consequence, he fears, is that the present obsession with inward investment as the ostensible solution to competition will so skew the rationales for indigenous production that UK-focused drama production will be less and less concerned with its British public and more and more defined by international deal-making.

This Working Paper sets the scene for Richard Paterson’s next one, when he will provide a detailed analysis of the industrial structure of television.

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Algorithms Workshop 15th February @ Strathclyde University

As algorithms permeate more aspects of daily life, how can the law ensure that we remain in control?

A limited number of spaces have opened up for a workshop on algorithms and law organised by Professor Lilian Edwards at the University of Strathclyde. PhD students and early career researchers are invited to take part in the event, which will take place on 15th February from 12:30-17:00h. Speakers include Professor Lillian Edwards (Strathclyde), Michael Veale (UCL), Lorna Woods (Essex), Freddie Borgesius (Amsterdam) and Thomas Höppner (Berlin).

The workshop will consider the legal, social and technical dimensions of algorithms and their role in governance. As we move further towards network-connected material life described as the ‘Internet of Things’, the status of algorithms as mechanisms for regulating social activity becomes evermore important. The afternoon session will discuss possible remedies to the problems of algorithmic governance including the lack of political visibility and the lack of discretionary decision making in current computerised systems. These are issues that will be familiar to digital economy scholars that have studied platforms such as YouTube and its ContentID technology for filtering potentially infringing videos.

It will surely be a stimulating afternoon and I encourage interested researchers to register for the event here.

Those who are keen for more discussion on algorithms, please note that we will be discussing a similar topic at our PhD research development group meeting the evening before on 14th February.

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Edwin Morgan Project Launch & Press


The web resource for the Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks project was launched on Friday 20th January, the first major UK study to explore the concept of diligent search since the EU Orphan Works Directive and UK Orphan Works Licensing Scheme came into effect. The resource, found at, explains the obstacles in current copyright law which make the digitisation of cultural heritage collections so challenging and expensive. It was developed by the Project Officer Kerry Patterson, PI Professor Ronan Deazley (Queen’s University Belfast) and PhD student Victoria Stobo with Digital Resources Officer Peter Bennett and Data Specialist Jesus Rodriguez Perez.

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