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Copyright Evidence Wiki October 2019 Round-Up

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Copyright Evidence Wiki October 2019 Round-Up

By 7 November 2019No Comments

This is part of a series of summary posts rounding-up new entries to the Copyright Evidence Wiki (organised thematically). As part of CREATe’s workstream for the AHRC Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, the Wiki catalogues empirical studies on copyright. This month, we summarise new featured studies on: Piracy, Intermediary Liability, Open Access/Open Science and Performers’ Rights.


Overall, piracy is declining, according to a study by Quintais and Poort (2019). Following the Global Online Piracy Study (Poort et al. (2018)), this study looks to “How Markets– Not Enforcement – Drive Down Copyright Infringement”. In particular, the study finds little evidence of sales displacement caused by piracy, which is somewhat offset by increasing sales in e.g. live concerts and cinema.

An earlier study by Gunter (2009) on “Internet Scallywags” finds that piracy behaviours are more likely when users associate with peers who participate in piracy themselves, or where parents approve of these behaviours. Punishment, unless very likely and very severe, is unlikely to deter this behaviour.

Intermediary liability:

Erickson and Kretschmer’s (2019) study of “Empirical Approaches to Intermediary Liability” provides a comprehensive overview of the available empirical evidence relating to notice-and-takedown systems. Using the Copyright Evidence Wiki to identify relevant studies, Erickson and Kretschmer ultimately find that “despite its flaws, the notice-and-takedown regime is working” but requires some tweaking.

A comparative legal analysis by Marsoof and Gupta (2019) suggests that Singapore’s system of intermediary liability creates a better balance between copyright owners, intermediaries and users than India (and potentially the USA/DMCA system). In Singapore, a strict knowledge standard combined with broader protection for users provides more substantive and procedural certainty and clarity.

Open Access/Open Science:

Should it take 77 years for communication scholarly outputs to become open access? Based on the current growth rate, Baghestan et al. (2019) anticipate that 100% open access to these materials will only be achieved in 2094. Their study issues a “global call” for open access to scholarly materials, in particular considering how new business models may encourage this.

The use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) improves student knowledge of copyright issues such as fair use, according to a study by Lin (2019). As well as bringing cost-savings, mobile learning, and diversity of teaching materials, use of OER materials encourages students to consider and navigate copyright issues on a day-to-day basis.

Read more about CREATe’s work on Open Science here.

Performers’ Rights

Most musicians remain unaware of performers’ rights, according to a study by Aguilar (2019a). Their study reveals that musicians still tend to view their work as a service rather than a product to be owned, leading to a low uptake on CMO membership for performers.

An earlier study by Nanayakkara (2017) examines the desire for, and problems associated with, introducing a royalty collection scheme in the Sri Lankan music industry. Performers report a strong need for such a scheme, noting problems with bargaining power, a lack of transparency in the digital market, and concerns for aging artists. However, the study is pessimistic about the success of such a scheme due to several country and industry-specific factors.

See something missing from the Copyright Evidence Wiki? Propose a new study here.