Monthly Archives: March 2014

Who’s afraid of feminist legal theory?

Post by Sheona Mary Lockhart Burrow (PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow)

Image credit: Sheona Mary Lockhart Burrow

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.

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Show and Tell at the AHRC’s Creative Economy Showcase

IMG_01Last 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. Continue reading

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Equal access: harmonising copyright exceptions for those with disabilities

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. Continue reading

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Creative Industries in a Knowledge Society

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.

research-programme

CREATe’s Network Graphic (click to view)

It is a particular challenge to establish a research centre in such a contested environment. The more urgent an independent approach becomes, the harder it is to achieve. Where myths and anecdotes rule, may transparency help? At CREATe, we are taking great care to expose our methodological approach and research designs to early scrutiny by academics, as well as industry and policy users of research. We document our major events scrupulously (we have welcomed close to 1,000 delegates to 20 events during our first year); we disseminate our research as working papers (15 as of March 2014); we have contributed to 9 consultations and policy interventions; we run digital resources on our website (visitors from 149 countries).

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Copyrightuser.org launch during AHRC Creative Economy Showcase: Press Release and Media

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. Continue reading

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AHRC Creative Economy Showcase Event

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 … Continue reading

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CREATe Response to the Public Consultation on the Review of the EU Copyright Rules

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 … Continue reading

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“Adopt fair use” – The Australian Law Reform Commission tells the Australian government!

Post By Ms. Megan Rae Blakely (PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow) and
Dr Sukhpreet Singh (R&D Manager, CREATe)

Fair Use Logo by Odinn 2007 CC-BY-SA

Fair Use Logo by Odinn 2007 CC-BY-SA

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) recently published a report that engages with the suitability of ‘fair use’ copyright exceptions in Australian law. Based upon more than 18 months of work and over 1,000 submissions and consultations with stakeholders, the report strongly recommends a more flexible and adaptive copyright framework for Australia. Any copyright flexibility legislation must still comply with the minimum rights laid out in the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention provides a three-step test to determine if a statutory reform is compliant; all member states must confine their limitations and exceptions to exclusive rights to 1) certain special cases which 2) do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and 3) do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.

While still adhering to these minimum Berne Convention rights, the ALRC report does justice to its commissioning organization, i.e., a law ‘reform’ commission by recommending introduction of ‘fair use’ principles in Australian copyright law, so that new technological developments and commercial practices in the digital world do not have to seek constant recourse to legislative change, an instrument that moves at a glacial pace around the world. The report authors reckon that ‘fair use’ will promote innovation and enable a technologically sound market-based response to market demands and presumably help boost Australia’s global competitiveness.

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