Dowthwaite et al (2016)
|Dowthwaite et al (2016)|
|Title:|| How relevant is copyright to online artists? A qualitative study of
understandings, coping strategies, and possible solutions
|Author(s):||Liz Dowthwaite, Robert J. Houghton, Richard Mortier|
|Citation:||[[Has full citation::DOWTHWAITE, Liz; HOUGHTON, Robert J.; MORTIER, Richard. How relevant is copyright to online artists? A qualitative study of understandings, coping strategies, and possible solutions. First Monday, [S.l.], apr. 2016. ISSN 13960466. Available at: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/6107/5457]]|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The remainder of this paper discusses a series of semi-structured interviews that examine attitudes towards copyright and attribution amongst webcomic artists. The interviews were carried out at Thought Bubble 2013, with six full-time and five part-time creators (seven males and four females), at the exhibiting table of each artist. They lasted for between 10 and 50 minutes, in an open-ended, conversational format. Interviews were transcribed and iteratively coded for recurring themes. Once a preliminary list of topics was established, four major overarching themes were identified: ‘Web site policies’, ‘copyright and Creative Commons’, ‘attribution’, and ‘solutions’. Interviews were re-coded under each of these four headings, in order to determine the issues in each area.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Online copyright law is a major issue for many in the creative industries. Independent artists often rely on sharing their work across social media and content-sharing sites, leaving them open to having their work stolen or misused. This paper discusses a series of 11 semi-structured interviews that examined attitudes towards copyright and attribution amongst webcomic artists, in relation to current copyright laws across the EU and internationally. Whilst artists are generally aware of the cover provided by copyright, they feel that it is not necessarily relevant or effective within the creative space they work in. There is very little support and there are few resources available to help them to fight for control of their work, and whilst artists do get angry about actual theft and removal of attribution, they accept that they have to put up with certain violations if they wish to continue to publish comics for free on the Internet. The paper ends by discussing potential solutions to the problems raised.
Main Results of the Study
- Online content creators, which rely on the internet to share their work and gain revenue, are not sufficently protected by existing laws. They have created other ways to protect their works, however, these are rather weak then a real alternative.
- An uneasy balance exists between artists trying to make a living online, and people and Web sites who will take advantage; creators must accept their fate to be copied and create their own coping strategies.
- Authors of online comics are at a serious disadvantage compared to the websites they're depending on for distributing their works.
- Webcomics creators rely on each other — and their readers — in a big way, and do not feel they can rely on the law in the same way.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The copyright regime needs to be both simplified and re-organised so that it is relevant to those working in the creative industries online, and within online communities in general.
- T&Cs of Websites, used by online artists, ought to be simplified and easier to understand.
- More education for the general public on what is acceptable behaviour.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Interviews with content creators|
|Period of material under study:||Interviews lasted between 10 and 50 minutes and were conducted with 4 female and 7 male content creators of online commics. The Interviews were conducted on a convention of comic creators (Thought Bubble) in 2013.|