CREATe’s role in leading the PEC on the areas of Intellectual Property, Business Models, Access to Finance and Content Regulation builds on its roots as the RCUK-funded UK Copyright and Creative Economy Centre between 2012 and 2018, working with an interdisciplinary team of academics alongside industry, public sector and civil society partners. In October 2019, CREATe organised the CREATe Symposium 2019 to launch the new research taking place under the PEC and explore the crosscutting intellectual themes that link CREATe projects. During three days of events, public lectures and workshops, the Symposium provided a range of opportunities to introduce and shape the new research programme.
The first day of the Symposium combined historical controversies with contemporary debates. An Emerging Researchers’ Workshop gave the opportunity for lively discussion among researchers at all levels. In a subsequent copyright history roundtable event, law and non-law researchers explored the legal regulation of art, news and markets in the nineteenth century and their continuing relevance to current policy. Chaired by Dr Marta Iljadica, this area of research falls within recent CREATe work on the public sphere and markets. The activities of the first day were concluded by the event ‘Whistler, Faed and Painting Copyright in the Nineteenth Century,’ a lecture by Dr Elena Cooper that brought together the study of copyright history with the visual arts. Held at the University’s Hunterian Art Gallery, and in collaboration with the British Literary and Artistic Copyright Association (BLACA), the Whistler painting ‘Portrait of Lady Eden’ was brought out of store especially for the talk. Dr Cooper connected her research into the history of artistic copyright to two paintings with links to Scotland: ‘Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden’ by James McNeil Whistler (1834-1903) and ‘Home and the Homeless’ by Thomas Faed (1826-1900). The lecture, and Dr Cooper’s research, shifted the lens of copyright history from literary to artistic copyright and provides a compelling context for contemporary copyright studies.
Day two began with a meeting to discuss the development of an ongoing project, and doubtlessly one of CREATE’s most significant contributions to evidence-based policy - the Copyright Evidence Wiki. A central part of CREATe’s work within the PEC, the Wiki aims to construct a complete catalogue of existing empirical evidence relevant to copyright policy. Currently more than 700 studies are coded by categories such as country, industry, funder and research method, offering an in-depth and user-friendly view of findings. During the meeting, Joost Poort (Associate Professor, IViR, University of Amsterdam) presented the main findings of the multidisciplinary Global online piracy study, a comprehensive overview of the state of online piracy, including piracy rates, motivations and its impact on consumption from legal sources. Many of the findings are supported and confirmed by the studies on the Copyright Evidence Wiki, and the presentation was followed by recommendations on how the Wiki could be improved for the benefit of researchers, policy makers and journalists.
The day concluded with the inaugural CREATe Public Lecture in the 2019-20 series, ‘Reflections on the Making of EU Copyright Law’, given by Catherine Stihler. Stihler is currently CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation and was formerly a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2019. As Vice-Chair of the Internal Market Committee and Rapporteur for Article 13 (now Article 17) of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, Stihler was able to provide a personal perspective on the legislative process around Article 17, a process fraught with controversary, which was tracked by CREATe researchers. A public launch event prior to introduced the beta versions of two digital resources, the Copyright Evidence Portal and OMeBa, an innovative data tool enabling insights into online media behaviour.
The final day of the Symposium began with the workshop, ‘Information, (research) data and open science’. This workshop explored some of the complex issues arising out of the fundamental role that data plays in our society and in a technological environment increasingly dominated by machine learning and connected AI technologies. Presentations explored some of the most pressing issues related to ownership, access and reuse of data from an interdisciplinary perspective. Complementing this work, the afternoon workshop showcased the AHRC-funded project, ‘Improving Deliberation, Improving Copyright’ led by Dr Lee Edwards (PI, LSE) and Dr Giles Moss (Co-I, University of Leeds), which focuses on developing more effective consultation processes for copyright policy issues. Following a discussion of preliminary findings, participants to the workshop were asked to reflect on the results based on their own experiences, and identify areas of priority, barriers and strategies for improving consultations. The workshop brought the Symposium to a close – three days of events that set the tone for the PEC research in the months ahead.