Sarikakis, Krug and Rodriguez-Amat (2017)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Sarikakis, Krug and Rodriguez-Amat (2017)
Title: Defining authorship in user-generated content: Copyright struggles in The Game of Thrones
Author(s): Katharine Sarikakis, Claudia Krug, Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat
Year: 2015
Citation: Sarikakis et al., Defining authorship in user-generated content: Copyright struggles in The Game of Thrones, new media & society 2017, Vol. 19(4) p.542–p.559. Available at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444815612446
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: Data were obtained from 800 pages of forum discussions from Game of Thrones fandom website westeros.org. User discussions were analysed through Atlas.ti. software on a line-by-line basis, focussing on uses of “author”. Combined with the use of grounded theory, the data shows three main logics behind seven codes: community building, creation process and industrious profitmaking.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 1/03/2013-13/04/2013
Funder(s):

Abstract

"The notion of authorship is a core element in antipiracy campaigns accompanying an emerging copyright regime, worldwide. These campaigns are built on discourses that aim to ‘problematize’ the issues of ‘legality’ of content downloading practices, ‘protection’ for content creators and the alleged damage caused to creators’ livelihood by piracy. Under these tensions, fandom both subverts such discourses, through sharing and production practices, and legitimizes industry’s mythology of an ‘original’ author.However, how is the notion of authorship constructed in the cooperative spaces of fandom? The article explores the most popular fandom sites of A Song of Ice and Fire,the book series that inspires the TV-show Game of Thrones and argues that the notion of authorship is not one-dimensional, but rather consists of attributes that develop across three processes: community building, the creative and the industrial/production process. Here, fandom constructs a figure of the ‘author’ which, although more complex than the one presented by the industry in its copyright/anti-piracy campaigns, maintains the status quo of regulatory frameworks based on the idea of a ‘primary’ creator."

Main Results of the Study

Fan communities replicate the status quo of copyright frameworks by reinforcing the notion of a primary creator (in this case author G.R.R. Martin). These communities often revere the creator, which in turn legitimises their authority, even to the exclusion of the fan community’s own efforts. For example, the westeros.org forum enforces the primary creator’s stance against fanfic, even to the exclusion of hypothetical scenario passages (which speculate on an alternative course of events form the primary text). Many of the justifications echo concepts embedded in copyright, such as rewarding the process of creation, having authority over ones work, and the notion of a primary property owner. In short, the fan community reinforces the myth of the romantic author by suppressing and confronting any challenge to the creative process of the primary creator.

Whilst fans may in themselves be authors (e.g. of fan art etc.) they view their actions instead as a reward that allows them to become prosumers/produsers, rather than an author. Whilst these actions are welcomed, communities strictly enforce a non-monetisation rule, with any commercial activities immediately banned.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

Whilst the study does not offer any explicit policy recommendations, the findings sugget that reinforcement of laws concerning the field of fan-generated content is not necessary. The existing practices in the forums have a sufficent regulatory effect on the creation of user-generated content without external enforcement.


Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Green-tick.png
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Green-tick.png
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)
Green-tick.png

Datasets

Sample size: 800
Level of aggregation: Pages of Discussion
Period of material under study: 1/03/2013-13/04/2013