CREATe online seminars with our new postdoctoral researchers this semester

CREATe is happy to announce a series of seminars with our early career researchers, which will be held online.

Can 3D technology change the way we view the ownership of cultural heritage?

The first seminar with Dr Pınar Oruç our new postdoctoral colleague, will take place on Monday 12 October at 2.30pm and will be chaired by Dr Marta Iljadica, CREATe Co-Director and Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law. 

Short Bio: Pinar completed her PhD titled ‘The Role of Copyright in the Digitisation of Cultural Heritage’ at Queen Mary University of London. She also holds an LLM from Cardiff University and a BA in Law from Koc University. She has previously worked in QMUL, UCL and University of Essex.  

Abstract: Making reproductions of cultural heritage is already a common practice, but the developments in the 3D technology allow making faster and more accurate copies of the existing works. This presentation will examine whether this technology can change how we view the ownership of cultural heritage by questioning (i) how 3D technology can help heritage, (ii) how it affects restitution dynamics, (iii) how it can create new copyright ownership and (iv) who holds the scans when the original artefacts are returned. It will be discussed whether 3D technology can reduce longstanding restitution claims or complicate the matters even further.


Should We Worry about Color Depletion? — An Empirical Study of Single-Color Trademarks 

The second presentation by Xiaoren Wang will take place on Monday 19 October at 2.30pm and chaired by Professor Martin Kretschmer, CREATe Director and Professor of Intellectual Property Law. 

Short Bio: Xiaoren received her J.S.D degree at the University of Illinois in May of 2019. Her doctoral research focused on the empirical study of aesthetic functionality in US trademark law. After that, she worked as a Max Web fellow (2019-2020) in the European University Institute, Italy. Her research interests include IP and cyber law, empirical studies, law and economics, law and psychology. 

Before her J.S.D, Xiaoren practiced IP law at a law firm in China for five years. Her business covered counseling on trademark and copyright registrations, infringements, counterfeiting, and designing IP strategies for international companies. 

Abstract:  Both the EU law and the US law allow registering single colors as trademarks. However, some judges and scholars have pointed out that this law would exhaust available colors, called the color depletion theory. The theory believes that trademarking single colors are problematic because first, it develops market entry barriers. With more and more single colors claimed as trademarks by incumbents, fewer color choices left for entrants. Second, color depletion increases consumer search costs. When more single colors are claimed, the distances between colors shrink and the boundaries between color trademarks will be blurred. Thereby consumers are more likely confused by similar color trademarks. Despite many theoretical studies on color depletion, there are no empirical studies to test whether, in practice, color depletion is severe or ignorable. This project fills this gap by measuring the color depletion situation through thousands of single-color trademarks recorded in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This project will report (1) the overall color depletion and the depletion speed per year, (2) color depletion per product/service class and per color category, and (3) color congestion within the same product/service class, measured by how many new color applications are rejected by already-registered colors due to the similarity.  Based on these data analysis, the project will evaluate whether the color depletion in the US is severe or ignorable, further suggest the USPTO, courts and policy makers on adjusting the threshold of trademarking single colors. Besides, the project might also offer some observations on relations between IP protection and public resources.  


Trading Places: PSBs, SVoDs and the ‘Terms of Trade’  

The third CREATe online seminar will be delivered by Dr Kenny Barr on Monday 16 November at 2.30pm and chaired by Professor Philip Schlesinger, Professor of Cultural Theory (CCPR) CREATe Deputy Director. 

Short Bio: Kenny recently completed work on 3-year ESRC-funded research project ‘Television Production in Transition: Independence, Scale and Sustainability’ at the Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow. Prior to this his doctoral research at CREATe examined copyright as it shapes the commercial decision-making of creators and investors in the contemporary UK music industries. 

Abstract: This seminar discusses CREATe research as part of the AHRC Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC). The session draws on the recent Working Paper by Naysun Alae-Carew, Managing Director of TV production company Blazing Griffin, and the CREATe response to the DCMS Inquiry into ‘The Future of Public Service Broadcasting’.  

The seminar focuses on ‘terms of trade’ established in the Communications Act 2003 as a means of correcting bargaining power asymmetries between public service broadcasters (PSBs) and independent television production companies (Doyle and Paterson 2008). This intervention saw producers take control of IP assets previously held by broadcasters. An unintended consequence of this was sector consolidation as independent producers endowed with valuable catalogues IP catalogues became attractive acquisitions for transnational media conglomerates (Doyle 2018; Alae-Carew 2020).  

The emergence of subscription video on demand (SVoD) platforms such as Amazon and Netflix present TV production companies with lucrative new opportunities beyond the PSB ambit. However, these new platforms operate under very different regulatory conditions than those imposed on PSBs.  SVoDs are not required to share the control and ownership of IP rights with producers.  

The paper argues that a greater degree of regulatory parity between PSBs and SVoDs in their dealings with content-producing companies is desirable. Empirical evidence indicates limiting assignable dimensions of IP, or implementing reversion rights, has positive effects in balancing the interests of creators, investors and consumers of cultural works (Kretschmer 2012, Barr 2016, Heald 2017, Giblin and Weatherall 2017). However, history shows that caution is required when devising interventions designed to address power imbalances and foster diversity and plurality in the sector. 


Pinar Oruç will work on the H2020 reCreating Europe on two projects relating to digital cultural heritage (investigator Marta Iljadica) and AI and text-and-data-mining (investigators Thomas Margoni and Martin Kretschmer). 

Xiaoren Wang and Kenny Barr will work on the AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC) on issues relating to platform regulation and the audio-visual sector (investigators Martin Kretschmer, Philip Schlesinger, Gillian Doyle).

All presentations will be held for 30 minutes, followed by 20 minutes Q&A.  If you are interested to participate in any of the seminars, please contact Diane McGrattan (diane.mcgrattan@glasgow.ac.uk).

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