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Why Unlawful Downloading?

By Blog, News

The simple answer to the question of why people may engage in unlawful downloading is that it is free. Undoubtedly there may be legal risks involved but the evidence as emerging from our previous scoping review (Watson, Zizzo & Fleming, 2014) is sufficiently unclear, that the choice to engage in unlawful downloading is not as straightforward as it may seem. This is because the existing evidence base is patchy and is particularly problematic in determining causality.

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Introducing Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks

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Kerry Patterson, Project Officer for CREATe’s Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks introduces her work to explore the extent to which EU and UK copyright policy impacts the digitisation of unique and distinctive artistic collections, such as the Morgan scrapbooks, as well as the costs associated with rights clearance.


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Collage from Scrapbook 12

Digitising the Edwin Morgan Scrapbooks is a project led by CREATe in conjunction with Glasgow University’s Special Collections Department. Within the Archive of the poet Edwin Morgan (1920-2010) held at the University, are sixteen scrapbooks. These date from 1931 to 1966 and were used by Morgan as an outlet for his creative expression before poetry became his primary focus. Within the scrapbooks are around 3,600 pages in total, with material from a diverse range of sources; contemporary and historical newspapers, books and periodicals, photographs, stamps, advertisements, flyers, cigarette cards and other everyday items.

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No end in sight?: Football, Vines and Value

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Professor Raymond Boyle from the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow leads CREATe’s Work Package on Copyright, Football and European Media Rights. His blog below summarises several aspects of IP and licensing within the sport media environment. A full article from the project will appear in Media, Culture and Society in April 2015.


footballThe demise in the value of television rights for live football has been long predicted. Yet the successive rights deals in the case of the FA Premier League (FAPL) continue to disprove this. The current three year deal that ends shortly was worth £1.78billion.

In just over the twenty years since its creation the FAPL has helped launch and sustain the UK pay-Tv platform BSkyB. Forget all the talk about first run movies, its exclusive live sport, or, more accurately live English football that has helped position Sky as wealthiest broadcaster in the UK.

While Sky and the FAPL have re-written the rule book regarding how sport gets covered on television in the last couple of decades, so too the internet and digital technologies have transformed the media landscape and how we consume mediated football. Pay-Tv was a business model built on aggressive promotion, subscription, protection of content and above all exclusivity of rights. In contrast, the age of social media is characterized by mobility and sharing information and content, anytime, any place.

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EU ruling: embedding does not equal copyright infringement

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2014-11-28 15_33_56-Copyright User on VimeoPhilippa Warr explores the recent ruling of the European Union’s Court of Justice which states that embedding videos containing copyrighted material does not constitute copyright infringement.


The European Union’s Court of Justice has issued a ruling on 21 October 2014 which states that embedding a video containing copyrighted material does not constitute copyright infringement.

The ruling on the case BestWater International GmbH vs Michael Mebes and Stefan Potsch has yet to be published in English, but it is available in French and in the official language of the ruling (German) on the court’s website. The basic complaint was that BestWater (a producer and distributor of water filters) objected to the two sales representatives (working for competitors) embedding BestWater promotional videos on their own websites from YouTube.

The case involved Article 3, paragraph 1 of Directive 2001/29/EC, which seeks to harmonise aspects of copyright in terms of how it applies to the information society. Specifically, it states that: “Member States shall provide authors with the exclusive right to authorise or prohibit any communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access them from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.”

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CREATe Supported Event Calls on Scotland’s Creative Industries to Improve on IP Exploitation

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Mindy Grewar from the University of St Andrews describes Upping Your Game, the third in a series of IP workshops with creative industries practitioners organised by ICC and Creative Scotland, with additional financial support from CREATe.

“Make your assets sweaty”. This wasn’t the typical language we’ve been hearing during our researching of strategies for managing and exploiting IP in Scotland’s creative industries. Our work with Creative Scotland has revealed a common set of challenges—such as the need to recognise one’s IP, to know when to share it or to protect it, and how.

But from a recent workshop on IP in the Scottish games industry, the call to sweatiness –to make intellectual properties ooze with revenue potential—has, er, stuck with us.

The phrase belongs to David Wightman, whose experience with guiding Another Visitor and other media companies in the UK, US and Asia enabled him to advise games companies to operate in “stealth mode”, to be ambitious about their goals and aggressive about their management. Sweaty assets fit this strategy efficiently, because they deliver a greater return on one’s developed IP.

“Make one product and get three out of it, with different skins, for different markets”, David counselled, or consider “reverse engineering—how to get more money from your existing products.”

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CREATe Event – Digital Dialogues with Theatre

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Mindy Grewar from the University of St Andrews describes CREATe’s recent IP for Theatre Event, Digital Dialogues.

A recent IP workshop with the Federation of Scottish Theatres (FST) revealed the complexity of IP issues to be managed when digital technologies are incorporated into an established, multi-faceted industry such as theatre. Handled effectively however digital media offer enormous potential for theatre companies, regardless of size, to reach new audiences worldwide and to enhance demand for live performances.

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Stellar Quines Theatre Company filming of The List

Digital Dialogues was hosted 9 September 2014 by the University of St Andrews Institute for Capitalising on Creativity (ICC) in collaboration with FST, with additional funding from CREATe. The event focussed on the implications for IP brought about by theatres’ increasing adoption of digital activities such as downloading, streaming and marketing, and their impact on specific industry participants including producers, writers, performers, composers, marketers, and audiences. 45 theatre and dance company representatives attended at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.

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