On May 26th I headed down to the Digital Catapult in London for an event to celebrate the launch of the CREATe Copyright and Innovation Network, which brought together findings from the CREATe research programme over the past four+ years. It was an excellent day with some interesting insights.
The day began with a keynote from Professor Paul Belleflamme, from Aix-Marseille Université, discussing his research into the economics of digital goods. He has also previously published on crowdfunding so I was interested to hear him speak. It was a great talk, and I recommend reading the paper here, around streaming of digital and informational goods. There followed a response from Professor Morten Hviid from UEA, who discussed two recent working papers surrounding digitisation of the publishing and music industries. I did my PhD Internship with Professor Hviid at UEA focussing on the crowdfunding of videogames and we’ve had many interesting discussions about the disruptive influence of digitisation and the Internet on creative industries of all kinds, including bypassing and changing the roles of intermediaries.
The second main talk was a report by Dr Nicola Searle from Goldsmiths on the range of business model research that has taken place as part of CREATe, presenting a meta-analysis of the types of business models used by different creative industries. It was very interesting to see the the product business models still dominate, despite all the discussion of the way technology has changed the business landscape in recent years. Responses to these findings came from Dr Xiaobai Shen from the University of Edinburgh, who focussed on business models in the Chinese music business, and Dr David Price from IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), who presented on the changes in revenue sources for the music industry, particularly the massive increase in streaming. The panel was finished by Professor Charles Baden-Fuller from City University briefly bringing all the presentations together.
After lunch, Dr Joost Poort, an economist from the University of Amsterdam, presented a project about economic rights and how they change as technology advances. Responses were provided by Dr Sabine Jacques from UEA and Erin Simon from Google, both of whom gave interesting perspectives as lawyers, and triggered a fairly lively question session with the audience. Unfortunately I had to leave before the final panel but I’m sure it was an excellent discussion to end the day. As someone who is neither a lawyer or an economist, some of what was covered during the day was slightly out of my comfort zone but there was still plenty for me to take away and consider. Additionally, as my work is predominantly with small individual creators who do not work within an established industry framework such as music or publishing, it was interesting to hear the perspective of those who do. Some issues are the same no matter what part of the creative industries you are in, but others are very different and it’s not surprising to me that many small creators do not feel they are represented in the copyright discourse. I’m pleased that the second phase of CREATe will continue to identify and address challenges in regulating the creative industries to the benefit of both creators and consumers.