CREATe at the 5th Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest, 24-29 September Washington DC

The 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest will take place on 24-29 September at the Washington College of Law, American University. It is the main convening of a global network of over 800 researchers, activists, and practitioners who work at the intersection of intellectual property and promotion of the public interest. The core goal is to promote evidence-based policy-making by fostering partnerships between academics and policy advocates from around the world.

CREATe is one of the partners of the Global Congress and a CREATe delegation – consisting of Prof. Martin Kretschmer, Dr Thomas Margoni and Bartolomeo Meletti – will participate in various workshops and panel sessions. The Global Congress will also be the platform for the launch of the last two episodes of The Game is On! series, co-created by Prof. Ronan Deazley (Queen’s University Belfast) and Bartolomeo Meletti.

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Vote for a balanced European copyright law: Statement by EPIP academics

European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) is the leading scientific association for the economics and law of Intellectual Property. The EPIP 2018 conference was held in Berlin, 4-7 September 2018, where this statement was drafted.

On Wednesday, 12 September 2018, the European Parliament will vote in plenary session on the heavily lobbied proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

On 5 July, a previous plenary vote rejected the report by Axel Voss MEP, the rapporteur for the legal affairs committee JURI. The main concerns related to the effects of Article 11 that introduces a new layer of licensing into the communication of news online, and of Article 13 that introduces new obligations on online platforms that are likely to be met by filtering content uploaded to their services.

Download statement here or read more below.

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New Working Paper: Can creative firms thrive without copyright? Value generation and capture from private-collective innovation

A new paper in the CREATe Working paper series is now available: Can creative firms thrive without copyright? Value generation and capture from private-collective innovation by Kris Erickson.

Abstract:

Accounts of the ‘copyright industries’ in national reports suggest that strong intellectual property rights support creative firms. However, mounting evidence from sectors such as video game production and 3D printing indicate that business models based on open IP can also be profitable. This study investigates the relationship between IP protection and value capture for creative industry firms engaged in collective/open innovation activities. A sample of 22 businesses interviewed in this study did not require exclusive ownership of creative materials, instead employing a range of strategies to compete and capture value. Benefits for some firms resemble those for participants in private-collective innovation (PCI), originally observed in open source software development (von Hippel, von Krogh, 2003). Advantages of PCI include the ability to commercialize user improvements and a reduction in transaction costs related to seeking and obtaining permission to innovate upon existing ideas. Some creative firms in this study were able to generate and capture value from PCI in two directions, upstream and downstream. These dynamics offer a mechanism to understand and articulate the value of openness for creative industries policy and management of creative organizations.

The paper can be accessed here: Can creative firms thrive without copyright? Value generation and capture from private-collective innovation

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UK Policy and Evidence Centre Announced

The University of Glasgow is delighted to play a central role in the work of the new UK Policy and Evidence Centre which was launched on Friday 7 September 2018. The Centre is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded consortium set up as part of its Creative Economy Programme.

The Policy and Evidence Centre will address the fact that while the national economic strength of the UK’s creative industries is unquestioned, gaps in the evidence base still exist. Led by global innovation foundation Nesta, with university partners across the UK including Glasgow, the new centre will connect stakeholders within the sector, research communities, and policy makers.  It will develop independent evidence that will inform decision-making across the creative industries and underpin future policy decisions. Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said:

“Combining world-class arts and humanities researchers with our globally renowned creative industries will underpin growth in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector within the UK economy.

“These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities are providing a huge vote of confidence for a sector that is vital to the future prosperity of the UK.”

The University’s contribution will build on the work of CREATe, the copyright and creative economy centre (www.create.ac.uk), which has developed a global reputation for its policy work at the interface of law, society and technology.

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New Working Paper: IP & Collaborative Agreements in the Creative Industries

A new CREATe Working Paper is being released today: IP & Collaborative Agreements in the Creative Industries. This is a CREATe report [by Martin Kretschmer, Bartolomeo Meletti & Sukhpreet Singh] released on the occasion of the launch of the AHRC’s Creative Industries Clusters R&D Programme 2018.


Executive Summary

The AHRC Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP) is a radical departure from traditional research funding. Research is understood in the context of R&D collaborations that are conceived to lead to new products and services, and ultimately to increased productivity and economic growth. These are ambitious, perhaps unprecedented goals for arts and humanities funding.

The experimental nature of creative R&D collaborations between Universities and industry, the subject matter of this report, requires new and innovative collaborative models and considerable cultural adaptation. We cannot know what works best at the outset. But consortium leaders and collaborators need to know the state of the art: what is the orthodox approach to managing and exploiting intellectual property (IP) (where IP is seen as a ‘thing to be sold’), as well as, more fluid iterative interactions (where IP may be viewed as an enabler and catalyst to achieve wider goals, such as increasing capacity and developing an ecosystem).

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Cambridge University Press publishes ‘Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image’ by Dr Elena Cooper

Cambridge University Press have just published Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image by Dr Elena Cooper, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at CREATe. The book is the first in-depth and longitudinal study of the history of copyright protecting the visual arts. Exploring legal developments during an important period in the making of the modern law, the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, in relation to four themes – the protection of copyright ‘authors’ (painters, photographers and engravers), art collectors, sitters and the public interest. It uncovers a number of long-forgotten narratives of copyright history, including views of copyright that differ from how we think about copyright today. As well as considering the distinct nature of the contribution of copyright to the history of the cultural domain accounted for by scholars of art history and the sociology of art, Art and Modern Copyright examines the value to lawyers and policy-makers today of copyright history as a destabilising influence. In taking us to ways of thinking that differ from our own, history can sharpen the critical lens through which we view copyright debates today.

The book will be launched at an event at the Victorian Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway, University of London, at 6.15pm on Wednesday 5 December 2018, where Dr Cooper will draw on the rich collection of nineteenth century paintings in the Gallery to illustrate the central themes of her research.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr Cooper: elena.cooper@glasgow.ac.uk .

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Deadline Approaching: PhD in AI and the assessment of data sensitivity in cultural organisations

The deadline is approaching for a  PhD studentship from SGSAH as part of the AHRC National Productivity Investment Fund initiative to encourage artificial intelligence research in the arts and humanities. The research is in:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the assessment of data sensitivity in cultural organisations: an exploration of the possibilities and implications in the context of a memory institution, the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

Full details are available at:
https://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/arts/graduateschool/fundingopportunities/aistudentship/. The deadline for applying is 29 August – the student would be expected to start 1 October 2018.

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New Working Paper: Whither the creative economy? Some reflections on the European case

A new paper in the CREATe Working Paper series is now available: Whither the creative economy? Some reflections on the European case by Philip Schlesinger.

The culture sector suffers from a lack of strategic support and financial investment. The challenge is, thus, to promote and strengthen the contribution of the culture sector to the benefit of the European economy. The paper is also a chapter in: Abbe E.L. Brown and Charlotte Waelde (eds), Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries, Cheltenham UK, Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018, pp.11-25. It appears as the first chapter in ‘Part I Setting the Scene: What is Intellectual Property and why is it relevant to creative industries’.

The paper can be accessed from here: Whither the creative economy? Some reflections on the European case.

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When Creativity Goes Open Source

In this guest blog post, CREATe Fellow Kris Erickson (former director of postgraduate research at CREATe) discusses findings from his recently published study, which explores how creative firms use free and open materials to generate value.

Fans perform a Sherlock cosplay at Melbourne Comic Con. Photography: iasarae

An enduring puzzle has animated my research for a number of years: ‘what inspires people to contribute their labour to an online community, when they don’t directly benefit from that contribution?’. We’ve seen people do this all over the web, on old-school discussion forums, news aggregators like Reddit, and social networking services like twitter.  The collective labour of online communities generates $ billions in revenue for platforms that do little more than provide an opportunity for communities to share their work with one another. In projects like the Wikimedia Commons, this labour is not appropriated for commercial ends by the website, but neither are individuals materially rewarded for their contributions.

As a busy academic without much time to generate online content myself, in an economic downturn when many also struggled to find and keep paid employment, I found this all very puzzling.

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Report: Presentation by Dr Ryan Whalen: A Network Theory of Patentability: Towards an Empirical Measure of Patent Nonobviousness

A group of CREATe staff and students met recently to welcome visiting researcher, Dr. Ryan Whalen, Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and to hear about his current research project. The project, undertaken along with Dr. Laura Pedraza-Farina, seeks to simplify the non-obviousness inquiry, using computational legal methods to create what he terms a ‘network measure’ of non-obviousness.

Determining when a patent application is, or is not, sufficiently ‘non-obvious’ is, arguably, one of the most intractable and uncertain legal inquiries known to IP lawyers. Traditional tests, established through US case law, adopt either a common-sense determination or a retrospective observation into whether the invention in question had been anticipated or suggested in the prior art. These approaches have, to date, offered little by way of certainty, are inherently either over or under inclusive and rely heavily on subjective analysis.

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