Reflections on CREATe’s first year by Professor Martin Kretschmer, Director of CREATe
Contested Policy Environment
CREATe’s Network Graphic (click to view)
It is now one year on since CREATe was launched to high expectations in the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The digital revolution has moved copyright law to the regulatory centre of the creative industries. For investors, copyright has developed into a currency; users struggle with rights clearance (or ignore rights altogether); creators seek ever new ways to the market. It is a world of believers and non-believers. We hear wildly conflicting claims about the value of intangible assets, about the benefits of open and closed models of innovation to firms and society, about the potential of massive collaborative projects (wikinomics), about the impediments that existing copyright arrangements pose for new derivative markets (mass digitisation, translation services, social media), and about the link between unauthorised consumer activities and lost sales.
The fifteenth release in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available for download. Determinants and Welfare Implications of Unlawful File Sharing: A Scoping Review by Steven James Watson, Daniel John Zizzo and Piers Fleming documents a scoping review carried out to investigate and summarize the extent and nature of research (2003-2013) into the welfare implications and determinants of unlawful file sharing. Articles on unlawful file sharing for digital media including music, film, television, videogames, software and books, were methodically searched for within academic databases and a pre-publication repository; non-academic literature was sought from key stakeholders and research centers. 54,441 sources were initially found with a wide search and were narrowed down to 206 articles which examined human behavior, intentions or attitudes.
The research was launched with a corresponding panel discussion and stakeholders’ meeting at London’s Stationers’ Hall on April 11th.
Consumers copy and share digital files. This has been blamed for a potentially catastrophic decline in certain markets. But why do consumers copy? And is it as economically harmful as often thought?
CREATe, the UK research centre for copyright, has put a decade of evidence to the test by reviewing studies published between 2003 and 2013. Applying techniques normally used in the medical sciences, articles on unlawful file sharing for digital media were methodically searched in academic databases, while non-academic literature was sought from key stakeholders and research centres. Over 54,000 sources were initially found and these were narrowed down to 206 articles which examined human behaviour, intentions or attitudes.
Professor Daniel Zizzo, an economist at the University of East Anglia, is co-author of the study, launched today. He said the research revealed that “current knowledge of file sharing is dramatically skewed by sector and method”.
Report Launch: Context and Study
Press Coverage and Social Media Reactions
Event Text Transcript and Audio
CREATe Report Launch: ‘A review of the causes and impacts of unlawful file sharing’
London, Stationers’ Hall, April 11th, 2014, 3-6pm
Click to access the full report in PDF.
Using systematic reviewing techniques drawn from the medical sciences, a team of behavioural economists and psychologists from the University of East Anglia (Dr Steven James Watson*, Prof. Daniel John Zizzo and Dr Piers Fleming) undertook a scoping review of all evidence published between 2003-2013 into the welfare implications and determinants of unlawful file sharing. Articles on unlawful file sharing for digital media including music, film, television, videogames, software and books, were methodically searched; non-academic literature was sought from key stakeholders and research centres. 54,441 sources were initially found with a wide search and were narrowed down to 206 articles which examined human behavior, intentions or attitudes.
Posted in News
Post by Sheona Mary Lockhart Burrow (PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow)
Themed refreshments were provided in the form of fairy cakes featuring Mary Wollstonecraft
The CREATe Studio reading group met again on Thursday 20th March. The topic of discussion was feminist theory in IP law. There is a small but growing literature on feminist theories of IP and the paper for discussion raised a number of interesting questions about how to carry out empirical research from the perspective of feminist legal theory.
Ronan Deazley voiced concerns about the difficulties of carrying out multidisciplinary research in this field without a proper understanding of both the relevant IP law and jurisdictional implications. Researchers engaging in this type of research need to familiarise themselves with both the relevant case law and statutes, as well as relevant critical and feminist legal theories. For example, without a proper grasp of how copyright law treats joint and multiple authors, it is difficult to properly understand how feminist theories about authorship may relate to copyright. Fortunately for those working within CREATe, access to legal specialists should not be a barrier.
The applicability of social science research methods to assess feminist theories was another topic for discussion. In particular, the diverse range of feminisms presents problems in defining the parameters of empirical research. Without appropriate checks in place, research in this area runs the danger of essentialising and making generalist claims. The point was raised that feminist theories present their own unique challenges for social science researchers; in particular the rejection of objectivity as a measurement criterion. Despite the difficulties of constructing appropriate research projects to test feminist theories, critical and feminist theory should be considered by CREATe researchers.
Last Wednesday (12th of March) the Arts and Humanities Research Council assembled over 500 policy-makers, creative industry business leaders, knowledge exchange practitioners, University research directors and senior funding council partners for its Creative Economy Showcase. The event, held in the fabulous setting of London’s Kings Gate Conference Centre, was intended to highlight the outcomes and innovations from AHRC’s activities in this area, providing opportunities to debate and influence current top level thinking in the sector, and to facilitate networking.
CREATe was of course delighted to contribute – a critical part of its ambitions is to effect real change within those parts of industry, policy and culture that collectively comprise this Creative Economy. CREATe’s participation in the showcase provided a fantastic opportunity to share information on its accomplishments, both completed and forthcoming, and to catalyse its engagement with these key sectors.
Post by Laurence Diver, CREATe Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh
Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (“the Copyright Directive”) has provided European member states with “the option of providing for certain exceptions or limitations for cases such as [...] for use by people with disabilities…” (Recital 34). Making copyright exceptions for disabilities merely optional raises the possibility that member states will opt not to implement them, thus potentially creating free movement barriers for EU citizens with disabilities. More research is required to assess what the variances in the exceptions enacted by member states are and whether these in fact prejudice the rights and interests of EU citizens with disabilities.
CREATe Press Release 12 March 2014
To copy or not to copy, that is the question
When do you know whether copying something is actually theft?
With the way in which TV, movies and music are produced, distributed and consumed changed forever, questions of copyright have never been more relevant.
Copyrightuser.org is a new website that seeks to answer some of these thorny questions. The new website will direct those in the music, film, literature, visual arts and technology industries through the complications of copyright law. The portal was officially launched today in London at the King’s Place conference centre during the AHRC Creative Economy Showcase, a day long event targeting policy-makers, business leaders in the creative industries, knowledge exchange practitioners, and, research directors.
CREATe will participate in the AHRC’s Creative Economy Showcase Event on March 12th 2014 with a demonstration stand and breakout session.
The exhibition stand will include an interactive installation of the Copyright User Portal, a multimedia education resource aimed at helping media workers and creators understand copyright. A joint collaboration between CREATe and Bournemouth University, the Copyright User Portal consists of videos, interactive tools, subject resources, and FAQs. The resources are meant for everyone who uses copyright: musicians, filmmakers, performers, writers, visual artists and interactive developers. Our goal is to inform creators about how to protect their work, how to license and exploit it, and how to legally re-use the work of others.
The breakout session will explore the experiences of Supporting Creative Business: Cultural Enterprise Office and its Clients, a one-year Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange project, which began in April 2013. It is focused on the Cultural Enterprise Office (CEO), a small support agency, focused on cultural micro-businesses, based in Glasgow but with a wider Scottish remit. CEO is partly funded by the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland and is engaged in offering advice and information and running events, as well as tailored programmes, for creatives. An overview of the project will be followed by a discussion with Deborah Keogh, the Cultural Enterprise Office’s Director.
See accompanying visuals and read the official Press Release.
Watch live stream and highlights from the day.
Posted in News
CREATe has issued its response to the Public Consultation on the Review of the EU Copyright Rules. Authors Martin Kretschmer, Ronan Deazley, Lilian Edwards, Kristofer Erickson, Burkhard Schafer and Daniel John Zizzo sought to make two contributions: (1) the process of policy formation matters for the evolution of the EU legal framework, and so a short critique of the consultation format is offered; (2) a summary of available evidence in seven thematic areas where CREATe has developed, or is developing research (term of protection, libraries and archives, disabilities, text and data mining, user-generated content, fair remuneration for authors and performers, and respect for rights). CREATe understands evidence here as empirically grounded, but open to historical and comparative approaches.
Download CREATe’s Response to the Public Consultation on the Review of the EU Copyright Rules (PDF Format).