|Title:||Can creative firms thrive without copyright? Value generation and capture from private-collection innovation|
|Citation:||Erickson, K. (2018) Can creative firms thrive without copyright? Value generation and capture from private-collection innovation. Business Horizons, 61:5, pp699-709|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Erickson, Rodriguez Perez and Rodriguez Perez (2018)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study consists of 22 interviews from members of creative firms which use known public domain materials. Candidate firms were obtained by a nonrandom sample determined from public domain materials (e.g. Project Gutenberg).|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“Accounts of the copyright industries in national reports suggest that strong intellectual property (IP) rights support creative firms. However, mounting evidence from sectors such as video game production and 3-D printing indicate that business models based on open IP can also be profitable. This study investigates the relationship between IP protection and value capture for creative industry firms engaged in collective/open innovation activities. A sample of 22 businesses interviewed in this study did not require exclusive ownership of creative materials but instead employed a range of strategies to compete and capture value. Benefits for some firms resemble those for participants in private-collective innovation (PCI), originally observed in open-source software development. Advantages of PCI include the ability to commercialize user improvements and a reduction in transaction costs related to seeking and obtaining permission to innovate existing ideas. Some creative firms in this study were able to generate and capture value from PCI in two directions: upstream and downstream. These dynamics offer a mechanism to understand and articulate the value of openness for creative industries policy and management of creative organizations.”
Main Results of the Study
Business models were characterised based on level of engagement with the public domain community, namely (a) nil, (b) upstream only, or (c) both upstream and downstream engagement:
No Engagement: Larger and more traditional firms tend to have no engagement with the public domain community. Given the competitive nature of these firms, previous knowledge of copyright licensing is used to exploit public domain materials. These materials tend to be heavily adapted, and used as a complimentary addition to proprietary goods (such as protected software).
Upstream Only: Smaller firms tend to have more upstream engagement with public domain materials (including voluntary external work, such as digitisation projects). The knowledge value from these external communities in turn assists the smaller firms with establishment and value-generation.
Both Upstream and Downstream Engagement: This area tends to be the remit of more niche firms which collaborate in a consumer/creator style. This may assist with improving the quality of products, based on downstream feedback.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the author does not make any explicit policy recommendations, they challenge the assumption that copyright is necessary (in itself) for firm value-generation. Instead, open licensing models (and engagement with public domain communities), particularly for niche or smaller firms, encourages participation and co-creation, in turn creating value (e.g. by having volunteers fixing bugs post-release in open software and ergo improving quality).