Lynne Brindley (Chief Executive, British Library 2000-2012)


There are so many possible themes for CREATe to consider. I recommend that an early task is for you all to create a ‘meta-agenda’ to guide us all through the many strands and their inter-linkages, focussing on the major challenges. There will be merit in considering the whole range of commercial interests and contributions to the debate, but give special attention to the challenges of engaging small and medium size enterprises with the Centre, as their voices are not so easily surfaced and it would be beneficial to involve these potential growth companies and understand their thinking.

I do not think we have heard enough about the voice and potential of the informed consumer, prosumer, co-creator and citizen. These relationships with suppliers, creatives and companies need to be strengthened. CREATe should consider ways in which it is easier to behave legally in copyright transactions. Some more thinking about behavioural economics and how to encourage and motivate those who want to be legal (beyond simply educating them) is important. At the same time focus on the big sinners, the real pirates and try not to focus on the little guys.

Focus on the big sinners, the real pirates and try not to focus on the little guys.

We have heard a considerable amount today about hybrid business models in presentations, implying that there is considerable experimentation, examples of reversing traditional models of charging, and re-thinking what is considered as adding value, and therefore what is chargeable and what is ‘free’. Experimentation of this kind should be encouraged and also sharing of models that appear to work and also those that appear to have been less successful.

We must all be interested in informed policy-making in this complex area. Too often policy makers are behind the pace of developments. The Centre might well consider how to engage and make an impact at that level. The discourse around new business models can usefully visit and develop concepts of ‘value exchange’ where, for example, consumers are exchanging personal information and their privacy for free use of content and services. The relationship between personal data and aggregated profiles in these contexts needs to be better understood.

Moving legislation and regulation on copyright towards a more ‘legally enabling’ approach would be beneficial to all those who wish to move forward in the digital space. From the Hargreaves report, the digital copyright exchange would be an excellent enabler whilst still giving protections as requested. We need to learn more about the nature of innovation within large organisations – most of the case studies heard today are from singleton entrepreneurs. How innovation, digital transformation and dynamic change is engendered within larger companies would provide valuable case study material.

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