“Act early and strategically” — highlights from CREATe co-sponsored event for Design industry practitioners.

Up Your IP Seminar - St. Andrews

Credit: Colin Tennant Photography

Act early and strategically — know the value of your Intellectual Property (IP), and the best way to protect it for your advantage.

These were among the pearls of wisdom shared at Up Your IP, a seminar for Design industry practitioners recently in Edinburgh. Organised by ICC and Creative Scotland and co-sponsored by CREATe, the day was the first of a series that aims to improve awareness and action on IP for Creative Industry enterprises. The second event, on September 11 2014, will focus on IP for Theatre organisations, and a third event, on September 25, will address IP for Digital Creatives. In November, the partners will release a suite of guidebooks addressing IP in Scotland’s Creative Industries (for details of the upcoming events and guidebooks, please contact coca@st-andrews.ac.uk)

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Lucas Lixinski’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage in International Law”: A Book Review

The Kelvingrove Review has published a book review of Lucas Lixinski’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage in International Law” in Issue 13, reviewed by CREATe Postgraduate Researcher Megan Rae Blakely.

Intangible Cultural Heritage in International Law by Lucas Lixinski tackles an emerging and highly relevant area of the law, and Lixinski approaches the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in a highly engaging and analytical manner. ICH, broadly speaking, consists of living cultural practices passed from generation to generation, such as song, dance, traditional craftsmanship and other rituals. Due to the organic and perpetually evolving nature of ICH, legal and definitional challenges at all levels abound prove especially difficult to form legal protections while still allowing for living heritage to thrive.

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New research examines IP status of user-generated contributions to TV production

Audiences have long been able to 'play along at home', but the Internet adds new complexity to interactive TV.

Audiences have long been able to ‘play along at home’, but the Internet adds new complexity to interactive TV.

An article published this week in the Journal of Media Business Studies by authors Todd Green and CREATe research fellow Kris Erickson asks, ‘what happens when user contributions are solicited and used to produce interactive TV?’

The question is a thorny one for a number of reasons, not least because cultural and organisational conditions under which TV is made are often distant from professional legal conceptions of copyright. The authors argue that television production teams operate with at least four sometimes contradictory models of intellectual property in mind: legal, entrepreneurial, financial, and communitarian.

Important copyright considerations abound. User contributions are most often solicited via third-party platforms such as facebook and twitter, which are governed by terms of service agreements. Further, do user contributions meet the threshold of originality required to attract copyright protection? Sometimes input can be as short as an SMS vote, a ‘like’, or a 140-character comment. Other times user contributions can constitute entire plot ideas.

Citing work in interactivity and participatory culture, the authors suggest that TV producers must strike a fine balance when conceiving interactive TV programmes. Adopting an overly restrictive position on copyright ownership may hamper efforts to make audiences feel involved in the co-production of a project. On the other hand, communitarian approaches may lack the means to fully account for and protect the commercial value of intellectual property.

A pre-publication version of the article may be accessed here.


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Copyright liabilities loom for cloud providers in wake of Aereo judgement

News piece by Dr Monica Horten, Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science

A judgement handed down in the US Supreme Court today has underpinned the claim of a group of broadcast companies that royalties were due from a cloud-based service relaying copyrighted content. The ruling also raises a looming threat of new liabilities for the nascent cloud computing industry.

The case of ABC Inc et al vs Aereo Inc, concerned whether or not a cloud service transmitting broadcast television to computer users over the Internet infringes copyright law. In brief, the Supreme Court ruling means that it does, but it is in the detail of the ruling that the cloud liability is implied.

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CREATe Researchers present at BILETA 2014

CREATe’s Andrew Black and Judith Rauhofer reflect upon their trip to the 2014 BILETA conference.

The UEA campus certainly had lots of bunnies! Image made available under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by PGBrown1987

The UEA campus certainly had lots of bunnies!
Image made available under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by PGBrown1987

This year’s BILETA conference took place at the beautiful (and bunny filled) UEA campus in sunny Norwich and saw a memorable three days of presentations by a fantastic array of speakers. The setting for the conference was the newly refurbished UEA law school building, opened after renovations just three weeks before our appearance in mid-April. In that regard a huge ‘well done’ has to go out to the conference organiser Dr Karen Mc Cullagh: arranging a conference at a venue that doesn’t even exist yet must have been a daunting challenge!

There was an impressive CREATe turnout at the event, including (alongside this post’s authors Andrew Black and Judith Rauhofer), Lillian Edwards, Daithi Mac Sithigh, Burkhard Schafer, Victoria Stobo, Edina Harbinja, Tom Phillips and Christian Geib. It was invigorating to see so much CREATe engagement in Bileta over the three days and to witness the various project outcomes being shared with a highly qualified audience.

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Understanding Approaches towards New Technologies in the Cultural Sector

Post by Amber Geurts (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), summarizing her presentation at CREATe Researchers Conference & Technology Capacity Building Event

amber guertsWithin existing research, there is a lack of understanding concerning the way creative, or cultural organizations, approach new technologies – even though technological developments have changed, facilitated and threatened the cultural sector enormously over the last several years. On the one hand, utopian approaches to new technologies (Castells, 2002) stress how these technologies have enabled cultural organizations to inform, educate and engage a wider and more diverse public (Cunliffe, Kritou & Tudhope, 2001), or created opportunities for cultural organizations to reduce costs of production and distribution (Cameron, 2011). On the other hand, dystopian views contrast these expectations by emphasizing how traditional value measures and working methods in the cultural sector become increasingly challenged (Peacock, 2008; Leyshon et al., 2005).

New technologies therefore provide opportunities to strengthen the position and possibilities of cultural organizations, but also threaten the cultural sector simultaneously. Previous research reveals a similar focus on the winners and losers of technological change. For example, most socio-cultural studies indicate how new technologies might create a so-called “digital divide” (Norris, 2001) between prominent actors or cultural organizations who are able to access, use and implement new media applications and those who aren’t. Similarly, most innovation management studies make the Schumpeterian (1942) assumption that, in the wake of discontinuous technological change, it are incumbent firms who increasingly struggle or exit the sector, while new entrants rise to market dominance (Bergek et al., 2013).

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Creative imagining: the future of copyright regimes in the film making industry

BccNResearchers from CREATe partner ISSTI (The Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation) based at the University of Edinburgh, recently engaged with independent film directors during the Barcelona Creative Commons Film Festival (BccN) held between 5-8 June 2014. The focus of this industry seminar was the study of new business models in the creative industries and co-envisaging the future with respect to new forms of copyright management.

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Copyright Policy Briefing by Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer, USPTO

CREATe Research Fellow Dr Elena Cooper attended a briefing by Shira Perlmutter (Chief Policy Officer, USPTO) organised by the UK Intellectual Property Office. The briefing took place on 7 April, and covered, very usefully, new copyright policy initiatives by the Obama administration. Dr Cooper took notes that have now been reviewed by Ms Perlmutter, and cleared for publication.


Shira Perlmutter USPTO

Briefing by Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer, USPTO
delivered at Intellectual Property Office, London at 10am on 7.4.2014

Purpose of Briefing: to outline where USPTO is going with copyright policy in light of a very active year. Focus on Green Paper issued by US Department of Commerce in July 2013: Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Digital Economy.

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…the _Te_ in CREATe…

- Post by Dr. Richard Mortier, Horizon Transitional Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, and Academic Curator of CREATe ‘Technology’ Capacity Building Conference June 2014.

The Industrious and the Lazy Apprentice. By Hogarth.  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Industrious and the Lazy Apprentice. By Hogarth. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Next week, June 17 & 18, The University of Nottingham hosts another CREATe Capacity Building Event – focusing this time on technology, the Te in CREATe.

The aim of the event is to bring together the interdisciplinary community of CREATe to facilitate networking and result sharing from projects with a digital technology or Internet focus. Over a day and a half we have an exciting programme put together, with a range of activities including international keynotes, open call presentations, and case studies.

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ISP web-blocking in Europe: a delicate balancing act

CREATe PhD researcher Megan Blakely has published a short piece on this spring’s ECJ decision on injunctions against internet intermediaries. She writes, “On 27 March 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) clarified that an internet service provider (ISP) is an intermediary against which copyright rights-holders can obtain an injunction, as provided by Art 8(3) of the Information Society Directive (2001/29/EC). The case, UPC Telekabel v Constantin Film & Wega (C-314/12), referred by the Supreme Court of Austria, has allowed the Austrian Supreme Court to uphold a web-blocking order issued to an internet service provider, despite its claim that it had no ‘contractual link’ with the infringing content-aggregation site, kino.to. To decide otherwise, said the ECJ, would substantially diminish the high level of protection that the Directive aimed to guarantee.”

Read more at Internet Policy Review


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