Guest post by Dr John Oliver, Associate Professor in Media Management, Bournemouth University, UK
CREATe’s All Hands conference (15-16th September 2014), while on one hand, provided the mainly internal consortium delegates with an opportunity to network and share research updates, it was also a platform for external academics, such as myself, to get close to the heart of CREATe’s work and meet the people behind its early success. As a media management researcher, I am interested in the business models of media and cultural businesses, and it was natural that I was intrigued by how a group of academic lawyers, technologists, sociologists and political scientists conceptualized ‘business models’ – something which was previously the domain of either economists or business academics, mainly those who studied strategic management, and where the phrase ‘business models’ can be a rather specific technical term. The two days spent in Glasgow, where the conversation during lunch and tea breaks was always on the verge of veering into Scottish independence and the referendum later that week, did answer the question to some extent. Regulatory frameworks, mainly copyright, are central to the genesis of ‘new’ or ‘better’ business models in media or cultural industries, and it became clear why RCUK made one of their biggest investments for the study of cultural and creative industries by funding an interdisciplinary centre for copyright and ‘New Business Models’, consciously rooted not in a ‘business’, but ‘law’ school of the University of Glasgow.
Tom Phillips addresses the All Hands audience
University of Edinburgh PhD candidate Nevena Kostova reports on the CREATe Results – Games, Audio-Visual and the Digital World session at the September CREATe All Hands Conference.
The second day of the CREATe All Hands Conference, which took place in Glasgow from 15-16 September, opened with a panel on Games, Audio-Visual and the Digital World. Six speakers presented on the development of their projects under these wide ranging themes, followed by commentaries from three respondents.
Tom Phillips from University of East Anglia presented first on the topic of games. One of the main questions underlying his project is when and how legal perspectives affect the practice of game developers. Within the framework of the project, the investigators are interested in exploring game developers’ awareness of legal issues and significance of these issues, as well as the barriers and opportunities for new business models.
Object? Document? Both! Steve Benford describes his efforts to create a self-describing instrument, The Carolan Guitar
University of Glasgow PhD candidate Victoria Stobo reports on the CREATe Results: Analogue Industries, Sports and Events session at the September CREATe All Hands Conference.
Steve Benford, from Horizon at the University of Nottingham, presented first within this session, offering a presentation about ‘The Carolan Guitar’, a project which combines the traditional craft of luthiery, i.e. guitar-making, with a new technology called Aestheticodes, creating a hybrid craft practice. Aestheticodes function like QR codes; when you scan them, they connect you to a specific URL associated with that code. The codes can be drawn by anyone; they work on the basis of regions which contain different quantities of blobs. In contrast to the traditional QR code, which is made up of black and white squares, Aestheticodes can include line drawings and engravings, making them suitable for artists or graphic designers in a variety of mediums; on paper, on fabric, or engraved onto a guitar.
Starting from the basis that every object (or in this case, every guitar) tells a story, the Carolan Guitar is engraved with different Aestheticodes on different parts of the instrument’s surface. These codes are then used as triggers; an audience member may scan the back of the guitar in order to record the live experience of a performance; another luthier may scan the headstock to access information about the instrument’s provenance; a potential buyer may scan the soundboard to hear every song the instrument has ever played; and a performer may scan the nook to record the places in which the guitar has been played.
From left: Liz Dowthwaite, Victoria Stobo, Estelle Derclaye, Ben Pester, Sarah Kember and Christian Geib
University of Glasgow PhD candidate Megan Blakely reports on CREATe Results: Books, Publishing, Archives and Libraries session at the September CREATe All Hands Conference.
The Books, Publishing, Archives, and Libraries Panel, chaired by Ben Pester from Goldsmiths, University of London, featured speakers with a variety of perspectives on the theme. The session overall provided excellent overviews of progress on CREATe projects as well as valuable industry feedback.
Professor Sarah Kember, also from Goldsmiths, kicked off the session with a discussion related to copyright and publishing, Whose Book is it Anyway?. The research focuses on hopes and fears through studying psychological, political, and cultural reactions to technology and copyright. Prof. Kember is exploring the impact of peer review and free labour, citation issues, gender and feminist perspectives in publishing as well as the effect on business models.
From left: Ruth Towse, Kenny Barr, Keith Negus and Daniel Zizzo
University of Nottingham PhD candidate Liz Dowthwaite reports on CREATe Results: Music session at the September CREATe All Hands Conference.
The music session consisted of four reports highlighting ongoing projects within CREATe. The speakers were Daniel Zizzo from Newcastle University, Keith Negus from Goldsmiths College London, Kenny Barr from the University of Glasgow, and Ruth Towse of Bournemouth University and University of Glasgow. Georg von Graevenitz from Queen Mary University of London and Scott McMaster, drummer for the band Kid Canaveral and an employee of University of Glasgow, offered external responses. John Street from University of East Anglia chaired the session.
Post by Bartolomeo Meletti, Lead Producer of CopyrightUser.org [a co-production between CREATe, University of Glasgow and Bournemouth University]
On Friday 10 October 2014, Mike Weatherley MP stood down from his role as Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister. On the same day he published the third and final report produced in his capacity as IP adviser: Copyright Education and Awareness. Following two copyright papers called Search engines and Piracy and ‘Follow the Money’, Mike Weatherley’s latest contribution considers copyright education and awareness activities in the UK. It also offers a number of recommendations with the goal of achieving “[g]reater coherence and coordination between industry, Government, academia and all other relevant stakeholders to deliver an effective positive message about the importance of IP to all our benefits”. Several recommendations explicitly address CREATe and in particular the project CopyrightUser.org.
Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications, wireless communications and postal services, has announced the appointment of a non-executive member to its Content Board.
Professor Philip Schlesinger has been appointed to the Content Board to represent the interests of the people of Scotland.
This vacancy has now closed
CREATe is the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (www.create.ac.uk) with a varied research portfolio, drawing upon disciplines such as law, economics, management, computer science, sociology, psychology, ethnography and critical studies. CREATe’s approach has evidence at its core and great care is taken to expose methodological approaches and research designs to early scrutiny by academics, industry, policy makers and others users of research results.
The CREATe Data Specialist is responsible for shaping CREATe’s data-driven digital identity and ensuring its impact is maximised. The postholder will oversee the exploitation and management of datasets including those developed by CREATe and originating elsewhere, informing the role of data in the progress and presentation of core research. They will be expected to demonstrate innovation in the design of data collection methods and the development of data analysis and visualisation tools, particularly web-enabled.
CREATe’s latest research article on Internet Policy Review (also the twentieth release in its Working Paper Series) is now available for download. The Aereo dilemma and copyright in the cloud focuses on Aereo, a cloud-based startup company that offers people the possibility to watch live (or nearly live) television on computing devices and smartphones. It was sued by the major US broadcasters for copyright liability, with the company eventually losing in the Supreme Court. The paper considers a dilemma facing courts in the US and EU; that a ruling to shut down Aereo, on the basis that it is unlawful under copyright law, could threaten innovation in areas such as the cloud.
This paper is published at Internet Policy Review, where it can be freely accessed.