On 13 October 2016, CREATe producer Bartolomeo Meletti presented CopyrightUser.org at the Creative Lenses Forum at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, which brought together thinkers and managers from arts and cultural organisations, business and academia to explore business model innovation in independent arts venues and performing arts organisations. The event was the first of a series of eight Fora of Creative Lenses, a four-year European action research project that seeks to make arts and cultural organisations more resilient and sustainable by improving their business models and developing their long-term strategic and innovation capacities.
During his workshop Copyright and Creativity, Bartolomeo used the resources offered by CopyrightUser.org to provide the attendees with general overview of UK copyright law, focussing on how creators can protect their work with copyright and how they can lawfully reuse other people’s work in the production of new content. The presentation prompted lively and engaging discussions among the participants: during the first part of the workshop, most questions concerned the requirements for copyright protection – in particular originality and fixation – as well as ownership of rights in cases of joint authorship. Questions included: how can one protect original art installations that are temporary? Would taking a photo of the art installation satisfy the fixation requirement? When an art organisation is involved to different degrees in all stages of film production, how can one measure whether its creative contribution is sufficiently original to attract copyright protection?
The second part of the workshop on creative reuse was introduced by the Copyright Bites, a series of short animated videos that explores the relationship between copyright and the public domain.While discussing copyright duration, the idea-expression dichotomy and copyright exceptions, most participants expressed their concerns about the territoriality of copyright law, and the complexity of identifying relevant jurisdictions and seeking answers on a country by country basis. Attendees were also interested to know more about copyright exceptions for education and ownership of rights on students’ work. The session ended with the presentation of The Game is On! resource, which provides a springboard for exploring key principles and ideas underpinning copyright law, creativity, and the limits of lawful appropriation and reuse.
The workshop at the Creative Lenses Forum was a great opportunity for the Copyright User team to better understand what arts and cultural organisations want to know about copyright, and hopefully will constitute the first step towards the production of sectoral guidance that responds to their specific knowledge needs. Indeed, the ambition of CopyrightUser.org is to offer useful copyright guidance for different creative and cultural sectors, with a view to enabling them to make informed decisions and favourably shape a policy landscape in which they can develop sustainable business models.