Copyright Evidence

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Welcome to the Copyright Evidence Wiki
The open platform that collects evidence about copyright's role in society
730 studies have been fully catalogued
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Introducing Copyright Evidence

Copyright Evidence is a digital resource developed by the CREATe Centre at the University of Glasgow. The aim of the Wiki is to construct a complete catalogue of existing empirical evidence relevant to copyright policy in order to inform public debate. The evidence is coded by many categories, including country, industry, funder and research method, offering an in-depth view of existing findings. The codes can be explored using the semantic drilldown function.

More About Copyright Evidence

Copyright policy issues

Studies have been grouped by six key copyright policy themes.

A. Nature and scope of exclusive rights (183) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to the types of works that are eligible for copyright protection and the extent of the protection offered by exclusive rights and moral rights. Among others, the papers included under this category focus on the originality threshold, derivative works, hyperlinking, news aggregation, resale and community norms (including negative space).

B. Exceptions (117) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to whether materials which otherwise are subject to exclusive copyright protection should be available for justifiable use without seeking permission and whether existing exceptions and limitations facilitate creative and scientific progress. Among others, the papers included under this category distinguish exceptions and limitations for the purposes of innovation or public policy, open-ended provisions from closed lists, and commercial and non-commercial uses.

C. Mass digitisation / orphan works (63) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to the process that enable mass digitisation of copyright protected content. Among others, the papers included under this category focus on potential solutions for orphan works and non-use of cultural works, including licensing schemes and extended collective licensing, and the application of copyright in cultural heritage institutions.

D. Licensing and business models (233) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to strategies and licensing solutions in the exploitation of copyright protected materials, and how legal markets attempt to match production to consumption. Among others, the papers included under this category examine collecting societies, metadata, copyright exchanges and hubs, windowing, crossborder access, open access/open science and end-user licensing.

E. Fair remuneration (102) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to creators’ earnings. Among others, the papers included under this category focus on the sources of artistic income, royalty flows, contracts, levies and sales displacement.

F. Enforcement (394) This field includes papers that examine policy issues related to the optimal way to enforce the private right of copyright. Among others, the papers included under this category focus on quantifying infringement, motivations for infringement, technological measures of protection, intermediary liability, graduated responses, notice and takedowns, criminal sanctions, litigation and court data.

There is also an opportunity to investigate more fundamental issues relating to the copyright incentive, contracts, consumer behavior and industry structure. This is still work in progress.

Fundamental issues about the copyright incentive


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Featured Study

Higgins, Fell and Wilson (2007) Higgins, G. E., Fell, B. D., & Wilson, A. L. (2007). Low self-control and social learning in understanding students' intentions to pirate movies in the United States. Social Science Computer Review, 25(3), 339-357.

Semantic Drilldown

This feature allows users to browse all studies in the Wiki. See all studies categorised by country, industry, research method, and more. Click here to try it.

Methodology (Analysis)

Editorial Information

Editorial Board
Prof. Martin Kretschmer (chair), University of Glasgow
Assoc. Prof. Kristofer Erickson (co-chair), University of Leeds
Dr Kenneth Barr, University of Glasgow
Dr Heather Ford, University of Leeds
Assoc. Prof. Rebecca Giblin, Monash University
Prof. Paul Heald, University of Illinois
Dr Thomas Margoni, University of Glasgow
Dr Theo Koutmeridis University of Glasgow
Assoc. Prof. Joost Poort, University of Amsterdam
Fred Saunderson, National Library of Scotland
Prof. Ruth Towse, Bournemouth University & CREATe
Amy Thomas (sub-editor), University of Glasgow
Selection Methodology

Guidelines for the cataloguing of copyright evidence where drawn up following a CREATe workshop on 20 October 2014, attended by Sayantan Ghosal (Dpt of Economics, University of Glasgow), Georg v Graevenitz (Queen Mary University of London & CREATe Fellow in Innovation Economics), Morten Hviid (Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia) and Ruth Towse (Bournemouth University & CREATe Fellow in Cultural Economics). Further consultations took place with Chris Buccafusco (New York University), Smita Kheria (University of Edinburgh), Joost Poort (Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam & CREATe Fellow in Economics of copyright and media industries) and Steven Watson (Lancaster University).

An initial selection of studies was drawn from four sources:

  1. A scoping review of the "piracy" literature commissioned by CREATe from Watson, Fleming and Zizzo, published in 2014. This used a review technique from the medical sciences to identify more than 50,000 academic sources that were potentially relevant for assessing unlawful file sharing, covering music, film, television, video games, software and books. During the review process, the sources were narrowed down to 206 articles which examined human behaviour.
  2. Working papers and pre-prints published in the SSRN e-journal Intellectual Property: Empirical Studies (edited by Christopher J. Buccafusco and David L. Schwartz). 710 papers published between November 1996 and July 2015 were narrowed down to 132 studies relevant to copyright law. These were further reviewed by the core editorial team of the Wiki (Koutmeridis, Erickson, Kretschmer) if they contained "sufficient empirical material" that warranted coding. "Sufficient empirical material" could be quantitative or qualitative. Our working definition excluded anecdotal or journalistic treatment, though single case studies were acceptable if the methodology was articulated and justified. A total of 103 studies were selected and catalogued from this SSRN source.
  3. Expert literature reviews conducted by Handke (2011), Kretschmer (2012) and Kheria (2013). They were used to fill some of the gaps left by the "piracy" review, in particular relating to creator perspectives. A total of 81 studies will be catalogued under this method.
  4. 50 governmental reports on intellectual property/copyright policy, proposed by CREATe doctoral candidates Kenny Barr and Megan Blakely, and reviewed by the core editorial team of the Wiki (Koutmeridis, Erickson, Kretschmer).

From 2014 to 2017, the copyright evidence wiki was led by Theo Koutmeridis (lead editor), Kris Erickson and Martin Kretschmer. Research assistants coding entries were PhD candidates with CREATe, including Kenny Barr, Megan Blakely, Jaakko Miettinen, Victoria Stobo and Andrea Wallace. We have archived a version with GitHub that was produced under the responsibility of this team in January 2018, containing 593 studies.

Following the constitution of the editorial board in December 2017, a sub-editor was appointed, managing a new search based process to identifying studies. All coding is performed by research assistants at CREATe, with the support of the AHRC Policy & Evidence Centre for the creative industries (PEC). The current editorial review process also allows all Wiki users to propose new studies. We aim to catalogue 50 new studies per year. The editorial board’s processes ensure that the Wiki cannot be captured by any specific interests.

How to use and cite The Copyright Evidence Wiki

Please cite the resource in the following way:

The Copyright Evidence Wiki: Empirical Evidence for Copyright Policy. CREATe Centre: University of Glasgow (http://CopyrightEvidence.org)

Please include the date when the resource was accessed.

If referring to the earlier version archived with GitHub [1] in January 2018, we suggest that the resource is cited in the following way: Koutmeridis, T., Erickson, K. & Kretschmer, M. (eds.) (2014-2017) The Copyright Evidence Wiki: Empirical Evidence for Copyright Policy.

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This is a project of the CREATe copyright research centre at the University of Glasgow. With support from Research Councils UK.