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Reflections on the CREATe Spring School 2024

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Reflections on the CREATe Spring School 2024

By 30 April 2024July 2nd, 2024No Comments

Blog post by Ula Furgal and Magali Eben.

This April, Glasgow not only saw its magnificent cherry blossoms, but also the first edition of the CREATe Spring School. Together with our colleagues from reCreating Europe, we were happy to host a group of brilliant postgraduate students, early career academics and practitioners from the creative industries and non-profit sectors at the University of Glasgow to debate, argue and hypothesise about the phenomenon of ‘Platforming Creativity’. We wondered about the value of creative labour, the effect technological developments have on creative practices, and the changing dynamics within the platform-dominated creative markets. By looking at those issues from the perspective of copyright, competition law and tech regulation we prompted School participants to think about cultural and creative markets and policies addressing them in a holistic manner.

A group photo of the Spring School participants by Weiwei Yi (who took also the photos at the end of this blog post).

During the first day, which was dedicated to copyright, our CREATe team composing of Martin Kretschmer, Amy Thomas and Ula Furgał, was joined by Péter Mezei (University of Szeged). We discussed the viability of copyright as a mode of regulation, its applicability in virtual words and its usefulness to the creators when contracting for remuneration. The day concluded with a short reception, during which we welcomed the School participants into the heart of CREATe: CREATe Hub.

The second day brought us into the territory of tech regulation. After discussing available data spaces for generative AI training with Thomas Margoni (KU Leuven) and the (open) innovation with CREATe’s Kris Erickson, we were happy to hear from two creators about their experience of working with digital platforms. Rachel Johnson, a singer performing as Kohla, emphasised the importance of social media for artists’ promotion and visibility, and Justin Alae-Carew (Blazing Griffin) shed light on the process of video game development and the role platforms play in the creation and distribution of games.

After an eventful weekend break (one sunny Loch Lomond cruise that was), we reconvened for day three to discuss the role competition law plays in creative markets. CREATe’s Magali Eben and Stavros Makris led participants on a journey through the provisions of competition law which could – at least in theory – be applied to creative industries and particularly discussed the challenges in doing so. They were joined by Joost Poort (University of Amsterdam) who set out the five forces of competition in creative industries. Konstantina Bania (Geradin Partners, Brunel) closed the day with a review of the competitive difficulties platforms have generated for creators, explaining the many regulations and laws creators may have at their disposal going forward.

The School concluded on day four, with the keynote of Ruth Towse (University of Bournemouth) reflecting on the lessons learned during first three days of the School and providing insights from economics. But before we heard from prof. Towse, we welcomed Caterina Sganga (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa) who addressed the persisting challenges for the intermediary liability regulation. In the afternoon, CREATe PhD students and Spring School partecipants discussed their research in an informal and ‘supervision-free’ session led by CREATe’s Gabriele Cifrodelli.

While the Spring School was only four intensive days, we will be looking forward to hearing from and about the successes of the School participants in the future.

You can hear directly from a few of the Spring School participants below:

The CREATe Spring School on Platforming Creativity was a transformative experience for me. It deepened my understanding of the intricate interplay and seemingly divergent approaches of copyright and competition law in our data-driven digital economy. As a doctoral researcher delving into these two realms of the law, I couldn’t help but recognize the immense value of the School.

Adedamola Adediji, Doctoral Researcher, University of Ottawa

The Spring School was a great experience to learn in detail the regulatory frameworks related to the creative economy and digital technologies with excellent academics and creators. Understanding the digital policy landscape in Europe and the UK can be complex. Still, it is helpful to determine the scope and impact of policies in other regions like Latin America, where my main work is based. It was an unforgettable experience with exciting academics and experts in the field. The School catalyzed collaborations to strengthen the conversation about the need for better regulations and policies focused on human rights.

Sara Fratti, Digital Rights Program Coordinator at Fundación Avina

I thoroughly enjoyed attending the inaugural CREATe Spring School and am grateful to the faculty, guest speakers, and especially Magali, Ula, and Diane for their work coordinating the programme. My background is in digital media research and sociolegal studies, but I found the workshops and presentations to be accessible, highly interdisciplinary, and extremely informative as someone interested in learning more about contracts, data policy, competition law, and cultural economics. As a postdoctoral researcher, it was stimulating to learn from postgraduate students working on exciting new frontiers of research as well as from practitioners working in the cultural industries. It was lovely getting to know the other participants socially during coffee breaks, evening meals, and on the weekend excursion to Balloch. Overall, the CREATe Spring School was a fantastic experience and an excellent opportunity for those interested in the intersections of law, technology, and culture.

Dr Bondy Kaye, University of Leeds, postdoctoral research fellow

Attending conferences and short-term schools can be beneficial, but they often fall short of expectations. However, the Spring School ‘Platforming Creativity,’ hosted by CREATe at the University of Glasgow, broke away from this norm and stands out as one of the most valuable experiences of my doctoral studies. Its interdisciplinary approach, exploring areas like Intellectual Property Law and Competition Law, alongside engaging discussions on current topics, significantly enhanced my understanding of these subjects and enriched my own PhD research. The intimate and small group settings helped facilitate insightful discussions and provided excellent networking opportunities. Every aspect of the Spring School was genuinely enjoyable, and I wholeheartedly recommend this spring school to anyone thinking of applying.

Nouf Ali S Algazlan, Ph.D. Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant (City University London), Visiting Lecturer (University of Hertfordshire).