intends to establish a body of evidence that allows better decision making in a contested policy field. Competing claims can be assessed and challenged transparently using underlying data and methods. Robustness and limitations of findings are carefully collected and are available here for all to reference.
This project is a form of dynamic literature review in a rapidly changing technological, business and socio-legal landscape. Only very recently, new research methods in combination with the development of big data techniques, which are richer both in size and in depth, have allowed researchers to test empirically key theoretical propositions and forced them to build theories which are consistent with observation. This generated the need to evaluate political decisions and design policy interventions based on evidence.
This open online platform builds on an innovative research philosophy and examines copyright from an interdisciplinary perspective, while it also facilitates bringing evidence to the debate from studies in fields that were previously overlooked. Relevant empirical work spreads across conventional methodological and disciplinary boundaries and it does not need to have "copyright" in the title.
A crucial dimension of the existing evidence examines different stages of production (e.g. creation, innovation, diffusion, distribution), in various creative industries (e.g. music, film and motion pictures, TV programmes, computer software, books), and estimates the effects of copyright on diverse agents in each sector, such as creators, investors, distributors, users or society as a whole. The fact that the impact of copyright law differs across various actors, industries and demographic groups, implies the need for more specific policies (for instance, even though the Ofcom (2011) survey provides evidence of heterogeneous consumption patterns, this remains an understudied aspect in most of the existing studies).
The transition to a global digital economy is associated with new challenges for enforcement authorities, for copyright law and for new business models. Imaginative use of the increasing volume of data is crucial for the design of more effective policies at the national and international level. Importantly, the effects of copyright protection and infringement for welfare, creativity and innovation require that policy decision making be consistent with rigorous empirical analysis.