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“Polemic: how readers will discover books in future” by Charlie Stross

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In the future, readers will not go in search of books to read. Feral books will stalk readers, sneak into their ebook libraries, and leap out to ambush them. Readers will have to beat books off with a baseball bat; hold them at bay with a flaming torch: refuse to interact: and in extreme cases, feign dyslexia, blindness or locked-in syndrome to avoid being subjected to literature.

You think I’m exaggerating for effect, don’t you?

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Extracts from Panel Discussion “Copyright, and the Regulation of Orphan Works” held on 02/07/2013

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Orphans-event-arnold_with_screenToday, we publish a summary, transcript and resource page which captures the panel discussion on regulation of orphan works held at the Law Society (London) on 2nd July 2013. The panel discussion followed the launch of an empirical report, titled “Copyright, and the Regulation of Orphan Works” published for the UK IPO by academics from Bournemouth University and CREATe, RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy. The event, organized jointly by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and CREATe, generated considerable debate. We are now providing a summary of the day’s proceedings for further comment and analysis.

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What price “expropriation”?

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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.

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Copyright Control

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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.

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CREATe: Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology

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CREATe is the Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, a national research hub jointly funded by the AHRC (Arts & Humanities), EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences) and ESRC (Economic & Social Sciences). CREATe is a pioneering interdisciplinary initiative, and globally the first effort to investigate the relationship between Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology (=CREATe) through the lens of copyright law.

The UK has probably the largest creative sector in the world relative to GDP, accounting for over 6% of the overall economy and contributing around £60bn per annum. CREATe will examine the business, regulatory and cultural infrastructure of the cultural and creative industries by exploring cutting-edge questions around digitisation, copyright, and innovation in the arts and technology. CREATe is based at the University of Glasgow, leading a consortium of 7 Universities: the University of East Anglia, the  University of Edinburgh, Goldsmiths (University of London), the University of Nottingham, the University of St. Andrews and the University of Strathclyde.

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