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CREATe Event – Digital Dialogues with Theatre

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Mindy Grewar from the University of St Andrews describes CREATe’s recent IP for Theatre Event, Digital Dialogues.

A recent IP workshop with the Federation of Scottish Theatres (FST) revealed the complexity of IP issues to be managed when digital technologies are incorporated into an established, multi-faceted industry such as theatre. Handled effectively however digital media offer enormous potential for theatre companies, regardless of size, to reach new audiences worldwide and to enhance demand for live performances.

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Stellar Quines Theatre Company filming of The List

Digital Dialogues was hosted 9 September 2014 by the University of St Andrews Institute for Capitalising on Creativity (ICC) in collaboration with FST, with additional funding from CREATe. The event focussed on the implications for IP brought about by theatres’ increasing adoption of digital activities such as downloading, streaming and marketing, and their impact on specific industry participants including producers, writers, performers, composers, marketers, and audiences. 45 theatre and dance company representatives attended at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.

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All Hands 2014: CREATe Results – Analogue Industries, Sports and Events

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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.

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Reflections on CREATe’s All Hands conference

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Guest post by Dr John Oliver, Associate Professor in Media Management, Bournemouth University, UK

2014.09.15-16.low_093CREATe’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.

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All Hands 2014: CREATe Results – Games, Audio-Visual and the Digital World

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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.

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All Hands 2014: CREATe Results – Music

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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.

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“Copyright Education and Awareness” – CREATe and CopyrightUser.org in a report by Mike Weatherley MP to the Prime Minister

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Post by Bartolomeo Meletti, Lead Producer of CopyrightUser.org [a co-production between CREATe, University of Glasgow and Bournemouth University]

weatherley-createOn 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.

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All Hands 2014: CREATe Results – Books, Publishing, Archives and Libraries

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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.

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Protecting Identity on Social Media

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socialmediaDominic Price from the University of Nottingham explains how CREATe is developing means to protect privacy and facilitate identity management on social media networks. 

Woman ‘sacked’ on Facebook for complaining about her boss after forgetting she had added him as a friend”[1], “Twitter user arrested over joke airport bomb threat [2].

Headlines such as these are becoming more commonplace, someone makes a comment on an online social network service without adequately considering to whom the comment is visible to and ends up in trouble because of it.

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Transparency and the Collective Management Organisations

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838288_36299521Dr Simone Schroff, CREATe/University of East Anglia explores how Collective Management Organisations are responding to pressures to offer more clarity about how they operate. 

Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) perform a key role in the commercial exploitation of music. They license its use, collect the revenues and then distribute these to the copyright owners. As a result, the CMOs link both the copyright owners and users at one of the key stages that copyright is designed to facilitate: the commercial exploitation of the work, generating the revenue that is seen as essential for future creation and innovation. In a digital era, the CMO has become an increasingly important player. And because they are typically monopolies (only in a few territories – the US, South Korea – do CMOs compete with each other), there has been a growing demand for transparency in the way they operate, including the administrative structures, licensing schemes and distribution policies.

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Public Intellectuals and Research Centres

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Philip Schlesinger, Professor in Cultural Policy, University of Glasgow and Deputy Director, CREATe

This post was originally presented as the closing paper in the final session ‘Where have we been and what next?’, of CREATe’s first All Hands Conference at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow on 16th September 2014

This evening, I’ve been asked to broach the topic of the ‘public intellectual’. While it’s the subject of much definitional wrangling, this term nevertheless signals something about how, by virtue of actions directed towards a general public, the battle for ideas and influence achieves a wide resonance.

There are at least two dimensions to this. One is the achievement of reach – expanding the range of those who can be addressed by our work.

And a second is the capacity to produce broad new thinking – to make connections between disparate themes and theories, to synthesise empirical findings, and then to fashion these into something new and compelling. To produce new narratives about the fields in which we are working.

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