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Reinventing Copyright Licensing: The Copyright Hub & Emergent Infrastructures for IP Trading

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The research team from CREATe’s new project at The University of Edinburgh on The Copyright Hub & Emergent Infrastructures for IP Trading explain their research goals. By comparing various emergent policy- and business-led initiatives in the creative economy, they attempt to capture, at an early stage, the constitution and evolution of new infrastructures designed to reduce the costs of securing licenses to use copyrighted works. The post was written by PhD candidate Hung The Nguyen.


imageThe history of copyright can be traced back to the enactment of Statute of Anne in 1710, designed to incentivise writers. Much has changed in the world over the subsequent three hundred years. Nowadays, questions are raised over whether copyright and intellectual property (IP) are still able to provide the necessary incentives for creativity in a modern world or whether they have become outdated laws which obstruct innovation and economic growth.

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Some lateral thinking for CREATe

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schlesingerPhilip Schlesinger, Professor in Cultural Policy at the University of Glasgow, and Deputy Director of CREATe, reflects on a recent workshop held at the University of Glasgow.


I convened The Lateral Seminar, a one-day workshop, which took place on 16 March 2015, to push forward new thinking on CREATe’s socio-cultural research and to look for potential points of integration of research conducted to date.

CREATe understands law, and in particular copyright law, to be a key condition for cultural production. Current far-reaching change in the digital environment requires us to develop a new framework that permits a more integrated approach to CREATe’s diverse portfolio of work. That’s why we engaged in some lateral thinking.

Contributors on the day were Raymond Boyle (Glasgow), Martin Kretschmer (Glasgow), Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths), Keith Negus (Goldsmiths), Burkhard Schafer (Edinburgh), John Street (UEA) and Robin Williams (Edinburgh).

Stimulated by short talks given by each of the participants, several emergent themes were discussed. In essence, the workshop’s red thread of argument went like this: it is now essential to regroup work deriving from CREATe’s first two years, irrespective of where it has been situated in the original thematic set-up; it is, furthermore, important to inform continuing work as far as possible with a new framework that effects more integration and therefore adds value to what has been done; and finally, there are topics that we can identify now that might inform the next phase of CREATe’s work.

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The Dream Would be Brick Lane – Assessing the Impact of IP Within the European Fashion Industry

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CREATe’s Carolina Bandinelli and Angela McRobbie both from Goldsmiths, University of London summarise some findings from their work exploring how questions of Intellectual Property impact on the professional practices of designers and design teams within the fashion industry.


Milan Fashion Week 1The Fashion Work Package for CREATe has focused on a number of intersecting questions. What is it like to embark on a small fashion enterprise in recent years? How do young designers actually create their own working environment as part of the process of establishing a name for themselves soon after they have graduated from a degree course? And in this context how do questions of IP and copyright impact on their everyday practice? We also wanted to open out the study to include three cities in Europe, i.e. London, Berlin and Milan, first to get a sense of how different urban environments and creative industry policies affected these small-scale enterprises and second and more significantly to see how in a European context the reality of the economic recession and wide-scale unemployment was pushing young creative graduates to invent careers for themselves. What we report below is an initial summary and comment on the Milan CREATe work.

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Ubiquitous Chipped – Reflections on the Designing Smart Cities Conference

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACREATe Investigator Dr. Daithí Mac Síthigh from University of Newcastle Law School offers his thoughts from attending the recent Designing Smart Cities Conference at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. This account originally featured on Daithí’s Lex Ferenda blog.


The event was organised by CREATe Deputy Director Professor Lilian Edwards – she also came up with the title of this post!

I’m just returning from a fascinating two-day conference on ‘designing smart cities’ at the University of Strathclyde, chaired by Prof. Lilian Edwards (who is responsible for the title of this post) and supported by CREATe, Horizon, and Glasgow City Council.

I particularly enjoyed this event. I have an on-off academic interest in the interactions between law and the city (which brings in geography and architecture) (seen most obviously in my ‘virtual walls’ article), and further personal interests in transportation and in modernist architecture. And, of course, in both domains, “technology”. Glasgow has received Government funding after a competition: see Future City Glasgow, and so was an ideal location.

There are various plans for audio, articles and the like; these are just a few quick first impressions. No offence to those omitted – my note taking varied across the two days, especially in and around my own contributions. (I was there to speak on the sharing economy, which is work at an early stage, and leading me into interesting place – I had a lively lunchtime conversation about English vs London vs Scottish taxi and private hire licensing, on which I could bore for, well, Scotland/London/England…).

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Creativity as a Service

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Dr. Michael Brown, CREATe investigator and Human Factors Research Fellow from Horizon Digital Economy Research at the University of Nottingham offer a perspective of his recent experiences interviewing semi-professional photographers.


1186873_76609070Over the last few months I’ve been interviewing ‘Pro-Am’ photographers to explore their practices, especially around the use of information about photos themselves (meta-data). These photographers are people that have been paid for their work but don’t do photography as their ‘day job’. They reported capturing and using all manner of meta data: Time, date and place of capture, camera setting and social setting. How this information is captured is as variable as what is captured with various combinations of digital and non-digital solutions used for the management of meta-data. Pens and paper, smart phones, complex multi-level folder systems and even social media sites are used to record this information. While most seem to have quite a relaxed attitude towards controlling information, for others it seems the flow and control of meta data is almost as important as the act of photography itself.

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Understanding UK Copyright Law: An Interactive Workshop for Music Writers and Composers

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Post by Bartolomeo Meletti, Lead Producer of CopyrightUser.org (a co-production between CREATe, University of Glasgow and Bournemouth University)

On Thursday 19th March 2015, the Digital Catapult Centre hosted the second in the series of workshops entitled ‘Understanding UK Copyright Law’, a joint initiative of the Digital Catapult, CREATe, CopyrightUser.org, and the Copyright Hub. The purpose of these workshops is to provide useful guidance about copyright to different sectoral groups of the creative industries, starting from the questions and concerns that these groups have. The first workshop of the series was held at the Digital Catapult Centre on 3rd December 2014, and was addressed to photographers and illustrators. On 19th March, the focus was on the music sector and the event attracted more than 40 attendees from London and across the UK, consisting mainly of songwriters, composers, and music producers.

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Cultural intermediaries and how artists get heard

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Post by George Musgrave (University of East Anglia)

How do musicians get their work heard, and what role do those actors whom Bourdieu first labelled ‘cultural intermediaries’ – that is, middle-men who occupy that conceptual space between production and consumption, and are entrusted with “presentation and representation” – play in that quest?

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Why Unlawful Downloading?

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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.


collage_12_crop

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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