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CREATe Presents Research at UK IPO Advisory Group

Posted on    by Kristofer Erickson
Blog

CREATe Presents Research at UK IPO Advisory Group

On 14th May 2024, we had the pleasure of presenting some of our current CREATe research to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Research Expert Advisory Group (REAG). The purpose of REAG is to evaluate and advise on new research of relevance to IP policy in the UK. We were invited to present by David Humphries, Head of Research (Economics, Research and Evidence) at IPO, following his participation in a research scoping workshop held during our re-launch event in Glasgow on 12th March. As the UK Centre for Regulation of the Creative Economy, we aim to make our research as accessible and useful to policy makers and experts as possible.

The objective of our presentation (accessible below) was to offer examples of a few of the current research projects ongoing in the Centre, rather than provide a comprehensive list. The contents of the presentation were as follows:

CREATe Digital Research Infrastructure: Prof Martin Kretschmer and Bartolomeo Meletti provided an overview of CREATe’s existing research infrastructure and ambitions for development (funded by an AHRC Infrastructure award to 2028). The resources include copyrightuser.org, copyrightuser.eu, the Copyright Evidence Wiki and Copyright History (Primary Sources). Our plans in the coming year include expanding and improving these resources, increasing the size of the evidence base, and developing new knowledge graph and interoperability tools to make our data more accessible and more widely used.

Creators Earning Hub: Dr Amy Thomas presented on CREATe’s sectoral longitudinal repeat studies of authors’ earnings, which have been running since 2006. The findings of the authors’ earnings surveys with ALCS members show declining earnings for authors since the start of the survey, a troubling development. Recent studies led by Thomas on the fortunes of indie authors show some bright spots (as well as inequalities) – women going the independent publishing route earn more than men in that segment in contrast to the broader writing population. The next steps (currently underway) include surveys with Directors UK, BECS and DACS, covering new forms of media and creative communities.

Algorithmic transparency in Music Streaming: Aline Iramina presented her current work on the economics of music streaming, particularly on the role of algorithmic transparency as a policy solution for regulating music streaming platforms. The research examines and compares the main algorithmic transparency measures adopted by streaming platforms (Spotify, Deezer, YouTube and TikTok) by  analysing legal documents produced by these platforms from 2018 to 2022. Findings indicate significant variance in transparency behaviour among companies, depending on the type of business model they operate and the way that music is used.

Technological Protection Measures (TPMs): Prof Kris Erickson presented on his current research, funded by Knowledge Rights 21, examining the impact of TPMs on research, preservation and education. These data, derived from a survey of libraries and archives across Europe, show that TPMs continue to have a significant effect on the activities of institutions supporting research, even when users may benefit from exceptions to copyright. The most frequently reported impediments from TPMs related to research, lending and teaching activities, but text-and-data mining was also frequently impeded by digital content locks. Obsolete TPMs on legacy media are also causing issues for preservation and other productive uses such as interoperability, as institutions are finding it legally and technically challenging to maintain access to digital archival materials behind TPMs.

Competition, Copyright and Games: Magali Eben discussed her current research, and working paper with co-authors Ayse Gizem Yasar, Amy Thomas and Kenny Barr. This work explores how both copyright and competition law can be instructive to understanding challenges facing the UK video game sector. Challenges include concentration, platformisation, interoperability and walled garden ecosystems. An event held at CREATe in November 2023 explored these issues with commentary from leading UK game studios, entrepreneurs and legal experts.

CREATe_REAG_Presentation_14_May