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London, Stationers' Hall, April 11th, 2014, 3-6pm

CREATe Report Launch: ‘A review of the causes and impacts of unlawful file sharing’

Mr Steven James Watson, Prof. Daniel John Zizzo and Dr Piers Fleming

Using systematic reviewing techniques drawn from the medical sciences, a team of behavioural economists and psychologists from the University of East Anglia has undertaken a scoping review of all evidence published between 2003-2013 into the welfare implications and determinants of unlawful file sharing. Articles on unlawful file sharing for digital media including music, film, television, videogames, software and books, were methodically searched; non-academic literature was sought from key stakeholders and research centres. 54,441 sources were initially found with a wide search and were narrowed down to 206 articles which examined human behavior, intentions or attitudes.

Whether unlawful file sharing confers a net societal cost or benefit to welfare remains unclear based on the available evidence, with both of the approaches employed – (1) looking at the association between sales and unlawful file sharing, and (2) examining people’s willingness to pay with and without the possibility of unlawful file sharing – suffering from serious limitations. This conclusion casts doubt on approaches which strengthen the civil enforcement system to meet the challenges of the internet revolution, at least without clearer evidence of demonstrable benefits of specific measures.

Read more about the study.

Panel Discussion

The programme also features a panel response with speakers from creative economy sectors as well as intermediaries, users and policy makers.

Chair: Alison Brimelow, CBE, former CEO, UK IPO; former President, EPO
Music sector: Robert Ashcroft (PRS for Music)
TV/ Broadcasting/ Films sector: John Mcvay (PACT)
Games sector: Brian Baglow (Scottish Games Network)
Publishing sector: tbc
Intermediaries: Theo Bertram (Google)
Civil Society: Jim Killock (Open Rights Group)


Stakeholders Meeting

The event will also be an opportunity for CREATe stakeholders, including those from industry, civil society and user groups, to interact face-to-face with CREATe researchers and discuss progress of CREATe research themes. Members of the CREATe Programme Advisory Council will be in attendance.

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Reflections on CREATe’s first year by Professor Martin Kretschmer, Director of CREATe

It is now one year on since CREATe was launched to high expectations in the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The digital revolution has moved copyright law to the regulatory centre of the creative industries. For investors, copyright has developed into a currency; users struggle with rights clearance (or ignore rights altogether); creators seek ever new ways to the market. It is a world of believers and non-believers. We hear wildly conflicting claims about the value of intangible assets, about the benefits of open and closed models of innovation to firms and society, about the potential of massive collaborative projects (wikinomics), about the impediments that existing copyright arrangements pose for new derivative markets (mass digitisation, translation services, social media), and about the link between unauthorised consumer activities and lost sales.

It is a particular challenge to establish a research centre in such a contested environment. The more urgent an independent approach becomes, the harder it is to achieve. Where myths and anecdotes rule, may transparency help? At CREATe, we are taking great care to expose our methodological approach and research designs to early scrutiny by academics, as well as industry and policy users of research. We document our major events scrupulously (we have welcomed close to 1,000 delegates to 20 events during our first year); we disseminate our research as working papers (15 as of March 2014); we have contributed to 9 consultations and policy interventions; we run digital resources on our website (visitors from 149 countries).

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