CREATe’s Policy Futures series forms a central part of the programme of events marking the 10th anniversary year of the founding of the Centre. Running from February until May 2023 out of Glasgow University’s Advanced Research Centre (ARC), the series combines seminars, workshops, lectures, roundtable discussions, screenings and performances. The unifying objective of the programme is to foster interdisciplinary, evidence-based engagements that diagnose significant issues in the digital creative industries through the lens of copyright, competition law, content regulation and cultural policy.
CREATe@10 includes events examining the following topics: cloud gaming and competition law; copyright exceptions for documentary filmmakers; music for screen in the streaming era; news media and online journalism; digital ownership and e-lending of books; and generative AI. These talks, seminars and workshops will foreground the activities of CREATe early-career researchers at the vanguard of empirical work in these fields. Complementing this programme will be talks and public lectures of wider public interest, reflecting our contribution to the AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC).
In March 2023, an International Symposium on ‘Policy Futures for the Digital Creative Economy’ will be held. It builds on collaborative work between CREATe, the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (CCPR) and the University of Sydney. Visiting researchers with a range of specialisms and research interests relevant to the Spring Series will be joining the CREATe team throughout the first half of 2023.
This post provides an overview of this wide-ranging programme activity.
Policy Futures Topic 1: Cloud Gaming and App Stores
We begin with a gaming event on 17 February, consisting of a roundtable discussion and public lecture. This event forms part of ongoing CREATe investigations into the changing landscape of the gaming industry and the resulting regulatory challenges.
In the morning of Friday 17 February, there will be a roundtable discussion bringing together copyright and competition lawyers with industry participants to engage with issues around ‘Copyright, Competition and Business Models in App Stores and Gaming’. The discussion will interrogate power imbalances in the gaming industry which has resulted in antitrust complaints and investigations in the UK, EU, and the US, as well as considering alternative forms of private regulation to protect creativity.
Following the roundtable, there will be a public lecture as part of Glasgow Competition Talk series. The talk titled, ‘From music streaming to the metaverse: competition policy’s role in clearing (app store sized) roadblocks to innovation’ will be given by Dr Friso Bostoen (KU Leuven). This talk will examine the role of competition policy in removing barriers to innovation raised by app store operators. Details available here.
Event leads: Magali Eben, Amy Thomas, Ayşe Gizem Yasar
Policy Futures Topic 2: Copyright exceptions for filmmakers
The event ‘Can I really use this? Copyright exceptions for filmmakers‘ has been cancelled due to strike action by University and College Union (UCU).
On 27 February in the Andrew Stewart Cinema in Gilmorehill Halls, there will be screenings and panel discussions under the title, ‘Can I really use this? Copyright exceptions for filmmakers’. This event will explore the scope of UK copyright exceptions through the lenses of copyright law and of film education and practice.
Copyright exceptions play a crucial role for filmmakers both in their education and in their professional practice. However, due to the complexity and uncertainty surrounding copyright exceptions, film educators and students as well as filmmakers are often reluctant to rely on these provisions to reuse existing content.
The event will kick off with the screening of two short films produced by BA (Hons) Film students from Bournemouth University, who will present their work and describe their understanding of the exceptions they relied on to produce them. Following the screening, a panel composed of experts and practitioners from the fields of copyright law and film will respond to the students’ presentations and will discuss the scope of application of exceptions that are relevant for filmmaking and film education. The panellists are: Tanya Aplin (Professor of IP Law: KCL), Elizabeth Klinck (rights clearance specialist), Dinusha Mendis (Professor of IP and Innovation Law: Bournemouth University), and Charlie Shackleton (nonfiction filmmaker). The evening will conclude with the screening of a selection of short films by Charlie Shackleton. Details available here.
Event leads: Bartolomeo Meletti and Claudy Op den Kamp
Policy Futures Topic 3: Music for Screen in the Video on Demand Era
The event ‘Music for Screen in the Video on Demand Era‘ has been cancelled due to strike action by University and College Union (UCU).
Screen industries remain a central concern in a workshop to be held on Wednesday 22 March 2023 at the ARC. This workshop examining music for screen in video-on-demand (VoD) era draws on empirical research conducted in the Creative Economies and Cultural Transformations Theme of the University’s Advanced Research Centre (ARC).
In the digital age there has never been more demand for music in audio visual settings. In addition to TV and film, innumerable digital channels have emerged offering access to screen content. New-entrant video-on-demand players like Amazon and Netflix have radically reshaped the market resulting in what has been characterised as a ‘golden age’ for some sectors of the screen industries. However, this has profound implications for incumbent media companies, producers and primary creators. At the other end of the spectrum, a huge volume of content is generated by YouTubers, gamers, live streamers and other micro producers. The ubiquity of recorded music accompanying screen content is evident across the full spectrum.
The workshop will bring together researchers, primary creators, producers and other interested parties to discuss, debate and perform key aspects of copyright’s influence on commercial and creative decision-making in this complex cultural industry landscape.
Event lead: Kenny Barr (with Kristelia Garcia)
‘Policy Futures for the Digital Creative Economy’ International Symposium with University of Sydney
Late-March will also bring an international symposium to the ARC examining, ‘Policy Futures for the Digital Creative Economy’. This symposium is part of a USyd-Glasgow Partnership Collaboration Award (PCA) led by Professor Philip Schlesinger (CREATe/Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow) and Professor Terry Flew (University of Sydney).
The symposium will open on 28 March with a public lecture delivered online by Professor John Hartley (University of Sydney) titled “Present at their own making”: In the era of global-digital media, how do we make groups?’ On 29 and 30 March the programme will include sessions addressing the themes: creative work; digital publishing; cultural policy; platform governance. This will involve invited participants including international scholars and policy makers from a wide array of disciplines and specialisms including: IP law; competition law; cultural policy; sports media; platformisation; broadcasting regulation; competition authorities and other interested parties.
Policy Futures Topic 4: News Media and Online Journalism
On 17 May the focus is on news media and online journalism. The contentious relationship between journalism and online platforms is being renegotiated in multiple jurisdictions, from Australia to the EU, and across diverse areas of law, from copyright to media regulation. The experience of journalists often flies under the radar. This event brings together practitioners and researchers, to explore how journalists in the broadest sense navigate the changing landscape of interactions between platforms and publishers. Along the economic dimension, this involves interrogating the effects on journalists of new settlements between publishers and platforms, as well as the challenges of individual entrepreneurship across emerging platforms and formats, from newsletters to short video. Along the expressive dimension, it highlights contradictory expectations of journalists’ online engagement, being outspoken yet impartial, in an often hostile environment. Details available here.
Event leads: Ula Furgal and Stefan Luca
Policy Futures Topic 5: The Law and Economics of e-Lending in Europe
An afternoon roundtable discussion on 19 July will bring together academics and industry stakeholders to discuss empirical research being carried out by CREATe researchers funded by KR21/Arcadia Foundation on eLending and access to knowledge. Libraries are vital providers of access to information, ideas and works for individual citizens, communities and organisations. Digital lending is an increasingly important part of what libraries do.
The shift from libraries as primarily analogue institutions, towards a model with a significant digital dimension presents numerous challenges and opportunities for stakeholders. The research examines contemporary markets for the lending of e-books by public and academic libraries in a number of European countries. With a particular focus on competition law elements, this project seeks to better understand how different e-lending markets function. The preliminary report will serve as a catalyst for discussion and debate among the assembled panel and audience.
Event leads: Matteo Frigeri and Kenny Barr
Policy Futures Topic 6: Generative AI in the Cultural World
Large Language Models (LLMs) such as Open AI’s GPT-3 have already moved from proof of concept to consumer and industry adoption in fields like chatbots for customer helpline support and business journalism. Now, models for creating AI images from text prompts (eg DALL-E2, Craiyon, Stable Diffusion) and even text-to-video (eg Meta’s Make-me-a-Video; Google’s Imagen) are being hailed as inaugurating an era when AI starts to deliver on the promise of democratising creativity, and enabling new types of innovative applications.
This conversation will bring together scholars from multiple disciplines to engage with the complex web of conceptual and practical quandaries presented by these emergent technologies. The initial event is scheduled to take place on 14 March at 4pm in the ARC, with a follow-up in early summer. Details available here.
Contributors: Lilian Edwards, James Stewart, Sarah Cook, Stefan Luca, Gabriele Cifrodelli
Scholars programme: Technology and Regulation in Digital Creative Economies
Running concurrently with the ‘Policy Futures for the Digital Creative Economy’ series, CREATe is programming collaborative interchanges that will bring Glasgow-based researchers together with visiting international scholars to convene within the Creative Economies and Cultural Transformations theme in the Advanced Research Centre (ARC). The academic visitors are: Jasmin Brieske (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt), Assoc. Prof. Kristelia García (The University of Colorado Law School), Dr Konstantin Hondros (University of Duisburg-Essen), Dr Vinicius Klein (Brazilian Institute of Competition & Innovation), Prof. Christina Mulligan (Brooklyn Law School), Anthony Rosborough (European University Institute).
The objective of these collaborations is to approach digital change in the cultural world from various legal and socio-legal perspectives. Particular attention is paid to the production, dissemination and consumption of cultural goods in the platform economy. Digitalisation transforms creative economies and labour markets, and this has significant societal implications in respect of digital change, sustainability and inequalities. In this context engagements will interrogate IoT devices and embedded computer systems; AI and authorship; algorithmic content curation; robot punishment and digital payola. Collaborations, open workshops and lightning talks will generate synergies and foster linkages across the Creative Economies and Cultural Transformations theme and beyond, realising the ARC’s ambition as the creative and collaborative heart of the University.
Details for participation in the Policy Futures Spring Series will be released over the coming weeks on our newsletter.
Creative Economies and Cultural Transformations seasonal installation in the ARC