Author Archives: Martin

Copyright Exceptions in Parliament

The letter reproduced below was sent on 6 June 2014 by UK Intellectual Property Law Professors to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee on Secondary Legislation, addressing (in their view unjustified) concerns about the implementation of new copyright exceptions for Parody and Quotation, and Personal Copying for Private Use. The letter was cited in the House of Commons Grand Committee on 9 July and in the House of Lords on 29 July. The exceptions will now come into force on 1 October 2014. Update 30 July 2014: The Copyright Regulations 2014, introducing exceptions for Parody and Quotation, and Personal Copying for Private Use were passed by the House of Lords on 29 July. Hansard transcript link below, including motion to approve by the … Continue reading

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Creative Industries in a Knowledge Society

It is now one year on since CREATe was launched to high expectations in the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The digital revolution has moved copyright law to the regulatory centre of the creative industries. For investors, copyright has developed into a currency; users struggle with rights clearance (or ignore rights altogether); creators seek ever new ways to the market. It is a world of believers and non-believers. We hear wildly conflicting claims about the value of intangible assets, about the benefits of open and closed models of innovation to firms and society, about the potential of massive collaborative projects (wikinomics), about the impediments that existing copyright arrangements pose for new derivative markets (mass digitisation, translation services, social media), and about the link between unauthorised consumer activities and lost sales.


CREATe’s Network Graphic (click to view)

It is a particular challenge to establish a research centre in such a contested environment. The more urgent an independent approach becomes, the harder it is to achieve. Where myths and anecdotes rule, may transparency help? At CREATe, we are taking great care to expose our methodological approach and research designs to early scrutiny by academics, as well as industry and policy users of research. We document our major events scrupulously (we have welcomed close to 1,000 delegates to 20 events during our first year); we disseminate our research as working papers (15 as of March 2014); we have contributed to 9 consultations and policy interventions; we run digital resources on our website (visitors from 149 countries).

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Fair Copyright Law: Tel Aviv University, 6-7 January 2014

CREATe Director Prof. Martin Kretschmer spoke at an international workshop on copyright limitations and exceptions in the digital age at the Cegla Center for interdisciplinary research on the law, Tel Aviv University. The event was organised by Prof. Lionel Bently (Cambridge) and Prof. Michael Birnhack (Tel Aviv), both partners of the CREATe centre. The gap between copyright law in the books and copyright law in action seems broader than ever before: the law protects copyright owners’ rights and limits users’ freedom to use works of authorship, and at the same time, users seem not to care too much about the law, and continue to download, upload, and share copyrighted material, without permission. The content industries advocate more enforcement so as to bridge this … Continue reading

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What price “expropriation”?

A new empirical study of so-called Orphan Works, commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office, and undertaken by academics from Bournemouth University, and the CREATe Centre at the University of Glasgow, comes to surprising results. It offers a clearer understanding of how orphan works are regulated and priced in other jurisdictions, and how a pricing system could be structured to ensure that “parents” are fairly remunerated if they re-appear, and users are incentivised to access and exploit registered orphan works. Continue reading

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Orphans: Much ado about … what?

Much ado, even an air of conspiracy, surrounds the passing of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) on 25 April.  The main focus has been on the Copyright Provisions in Part VI (“Miscellaneous and general“) that will insert a new section 116A into the Copyright, Design and Patent Act 1988, entitled “Orphan works licensing and extended collective licensing”. The section will enable the government to set up (through the statutory instrument of regulations) a body with the authority to license so-called Orphan works, i.e. those works whose owner of copyright “has not been found after a diligent search made in accordance with the regulations” (s. 116A(3)). Campaigning photographers ( have argued that identifying metadata are routinely removed before images … Continue reading

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Copyright Control

In his column published in The Bookseller on 15th February, Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, takes aim at CREATe, a new academic research centre investigating “copyright and new business models in the creative economy”.
According to Mollet, at least three things are wrong with CREATe: (1) The academics involved in CREATe are prejudiced in favour of copyright reform; (2) CREATe’s research programme ignores successful British companies; (3) More generally, academic research is unlikely to be helpful for creative businesses because academics lack direct experience of working in the sector. I will address these points in turn. Continue reading

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What’s Mine Isn’t Yours?

This is my first blogpost as director of CREATe, the RCUK centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy. The CREATe blog will feature regular opinion pieces by consortium faculty, with a focus on the interdisciplinary character of our pioneering project. Rather than pursuing fast commentary on breaking news, the aim is to relate our views to the underlying body of academic research that should bear on policy. What follows is a piece on Copyright just commissioned by the ESRC for its annual newsstand magazine Britain in 2013 (available now from all good retailers). It appeared under the title “What’s Mine Isn’t Yours”, which ironically was not my title. I had submitted the copy under the headline: … Continue reading

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