Monthly Archives: February 2014

Getting Paid for Giving Away Art for Free: the Case of Webcomics

Post by Liz Dowthwaite (Doctoral Researcher at CREATe & Horizon, University of Nottingham)

Nedroidcomics

Figure 1 Internet culture as portrayed by the webcomic ‘Nedroid’ on Tumblr [2]

Webcomics are comics that an independent creator posts on the Internet for free [3]. There are thousands on the Internet at any one time. Some artists are able to support themselves full-time through their comics, and many make at least some form of income. The importance of the relationship between creators and readers in comics has been recognized and talked about for many years [6], with webcomics able to embrace Web 2.0 technologies for this purpose: “One of the greatest things about Webcomics is the immediacy, frequency and intensity of your interactions with readers. You can talk to them, and they can talk back” (p.104) [4]. Artists develop meaningful relationships with readers over time, forming extremely dedicated communities that are willing to spend time and money supporting them [1,4,5,7,8,9]. Alongside these critical relationships, artists must also manage the use of their work online, ensuring that their rights are maintained. We all know that illegal hosting of content is a massive problem on the internet, and whilst most creators accept that this is somewhat inevitable, webcomics communities have been known to take to the social networks in great numbers to protest when work is copied or re-posted without attribution. My PhD is concerned with how creators use social media sites to build these communities in order to support themselves, both in terms of their rights and in the sense of making money, and my research so far shows that they do make extensive use of sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The example of such a niche group as ‘webcomics’, who have been extremely successful and are only going from strength to strength, may be used to aid other groups and individuals who more and more are turning to the Internet to help them succeed in the creative industries.

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CREATe Working Paper 14/4 Archives and Copyright: Developing an Agenda for Reform, Available Now

The fourteenth release in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available for download. Archives and Copyright: Developing an Agenda for Reform edited by Ronan Deazley and Victoria Stobo documents a Symposium of the same name held at the Wellcome Trust on 27 September 2013. The event was organised by Deazley and Stobo in collaboration with the Wellcome Library, and represented the culmination of an RCUK-funded research project concerned with the manner in which the copyright regime both enables and inhibits the work of heritage institutions, and in particular archives. A web resource offering short videos of the presentations at the Symposium, full transcripts, an introductory essay and a bibliography, as well as other project-related outputs is available at www.create.ac.uk/archivesandcopyright.

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Archives and Copyright digital proceedings now available!

On 27th September 2013, CREATe, in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust, the Archives and Records Association, and the British and Irish Legal Education and Technology Association, sponsored a symposium on Archives and Copyright which was co-organised by Professor Ronan Deazley and CREATe postgraduate researcher Victoria Stobo. A website, featuring video presentations and resources from the day is now available, including an interactive transcript of the event. The symposium proceedings will also be made available as a CREATe Working Paper.

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Higher Education & Creative Knowledge: Exploring Digital Co-production and Communities

CREATe is hosting the Fourth Research Workshop of the AHRC funded research network ‘Beyond the Campus: Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities across Higher Education and the Creative Economy’. In association with:  

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Joint CCPR / CREATe reading group on crowdfunding draws a crowd (and cake)

On Tuesday 18th February we organised a joint reading group session with colleagues from CCPR (normally branded as CREATe Studio). These reading groups are open to all PGRs and faculty. The topic of discussion was crowdfunding, an emergent activity in which project founders ask for a large number of small contributions from a community of online funders. It became clear over the course of lively discussion that there are a number of points of overlapping interest for researchers in both copyright and cultural policy.

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CREATe Open Access Publishing Stakeholders Event, 3rd February 2014

Organised by Giancarlo Frosio and Estelle Derclaye, School of Law, University of Nottingham and funded by CREATe, this workshop attempted to gather the different stakeholders in the field of open access publishing, especially open academic publishing, with the double aim of presenting the research gaps identified in Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review and eliciting reactions, comments, criticisms and finding new research questions and areas to explore both theoretically and empirically. Photos from the Day With thanks to Mike Beard, photographer at University of Nottingham. Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review Available as CREATe Working Paper 2014/1, Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review by Giancarlo Frosio under the supervision of Estelle Derclaye provided a backdrop to the day’s discussion. The literature … Continue reading

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Summary of the CREATe Workshop on Open Access Publishing, 3rd February 2014

Summary of the CREATe Workshop on Open Access Publishing University of Nottingham 3 February 2014 by Ken Wilson (Doctoral Researcher, University of Nottingham School of Law) To view the day’s programme, photographs, identified research gaps and copies of the day’s presentations, and to provide your own comments, please visit CREATe’s dedicated Open Access Publishing Stakeholders Event Resource Page. Background to the Workshop This workshop attempted to gather the different stakeholders in the field of open access publishing, especially open academic publishing, with the double aim of presenting the research gaps identified in Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review and eliciting reactions, comments, criticisms and finding new research questions and areas to explore both theoretically and empirically. Introduction Martin Kretschmer, Director of CREATe, … Continue reading

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Review: Creatives Research Resource Day 31st Jan 2014

Post by Tom Phillips (CREATe Research Associate, University of Edinburgh) This won’t be readily apparent to all visitors to this website, but behind the scenes the CREATe team has done a fantastic job of providing an online resource for CREATe researchers to keep tabs on other projects – their outputs, aims, and current status. Such a rich resource means that one can keep abreast of other work occurring within the wider context of the project, and easily find contact details for researchers on similarly-themed projects in order to share ideas. Yet despite this sterling work on the CREATe intranet, there is much to be said for getting researchers in a room together. Being in an academically stimulating environment – where … Continue reading

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Flappy Bird in Context: Using the ‘Games and Transmedia’ Workshop to Examine Gaming’s Current Phenomenon

Post by Tom Phillips (CREATe Research Associate, University of Edinburgh) If you’ve been around a smartphone in the last few weeks, chances are you’ve played – or at least heard of – Flappy Bird. A free to play game available on iOS and Android, millions of users have become addicted to its simple gameplay: just tap to keep the bird afloat, and navigate your way between a series of pipes. Yet what seems relatively easy is actually fiendishly difficult, with a steep learning curve that proves infuriating, yet somehow keeps players coming back for more. Now a global phenomenon, Flappy Bird has reportedly been earning developer Dong Nguyen around $50,000 per day from in-game ad revenue, a remarkable turnaround for … Continue reading

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CREATe Working Paper 2014/3, Research Perspectives on the Public Domain, Available Now

The thirteenth release in CREATe’s Working Paper Series is now available for download. Research Perspectives on the Public Domain, edited by Kris Erickson and Martin Kretschmer presents an edited transcript of the one-day event, ‘Research Perspectives on the Public Domain’, held at the University of Glasgow on 11th October, 2013. The public domain is a subject of vital interest to legal scholars, but its implications are far reaching – indeed, the public domain concept is germane to subjects as diverse as film and media studies, economics, political science and organisational theory.

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