Waelde, Kheria and Levin (2015)
|Waelde, Kheria and Levin (2015)
|Copyright and Publicly-Funded Arts and Humanities Research: Identifying and Developing Sustainable Exploitation Models in the Digital Economy
|Waelde, C., Kheria, S., Levin, N.
|Waelde, C., Kheria, S., & Levin, N. (2015). Copyright and Publicly-Funded Arts and Humanities Research: Identifying and Developing Sustainable Exploitation Models in the Digital Economy. This paper was prepared as a report for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK (2015).
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|About the Data
|This pilot project, which was carried out from November 2013 to December 2014, was based on case studies of six different AHRC-funded projects: three in the Digital Transformations Theme, and three in the REACT KE Hub.
To study the 6 cases, we conducted 12 semi-structured interviews, lasting approximately 2 hours each.
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In this paper, we report our findings from a pilot project, where we examined the relationships between copyright, publicly funded arts and humanities research, and research processes in the digital era. Our examination was based on case studies of six different AHRC-funded projects: three funded under the Digital Transformations theme, and three funded by one of the Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy, Research and Enterprise in the Arts and Creative Technologies (REACT). To study the six cases, we conducted semi-structured interviews with selected participants from each of these funded projects. We used this empirical data to address the following research questions: (1) How do researchers engage with copyright during the research process and in the production of creative works, and what copyright related challenges emerge? (2) How is researchers’ engagement with copyright affected by digitisation, collaboration, legislation, and government policies? (3) Does copyright provide benefits to researchers as they undertake publicly funded research? (4) What range of works is produced during research, what do researchers identify to be of value in their projects, and can any of the benefits provided by copyright be mapped onto these values?
Main Results of the Study
- Consistent with the existing, albeit limited, empirical research on copyright exceptions, researchers find the existing laws to be challenging in practice.
- Authors found that researchers faced a variety of challenges in negotiating access to and the use of out-of-copyright materials in archives.
- While economic benefit potentially arises from exploiting copyright in the outputs of research, neither academic researchers nor creative industry partners were interested in this direct benefit. Of much more importance was the benefit that could be derived from asserting the right to be identified as an “author” of the output.
- There was value for all case study participants to be derived from the collaborative research processes.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Further case study research should be carried out with research projects that use a range of third party copyright-protected material (literary, dramatic, musical and artistic) to ascertain whether the copyright exceptions, as amended, help them to meet their research aims.
- Case study analysis should be carried out to determine the impact of copyright on research design, project implementation, and display of outputs, and whether the quality and value of research outputs is diminished where researchers have to make compromises in accessing or using rights-protected works (for example, when content or findings are not fully accessible to the public). Case study research should be conducted across a range of funded projects to ascertain if the rules in the amended Re-Use of Public Sector Information Directive (latest implementation date 18 July 2015) are operated as intended, and if they do benefit researchers. Relatedly, clear policy guidelines should be developed for libraries, archives and museums. These should cover exploitation of their digitised content for research purposes, both content that is protected by copyright, and content that is out of copyright.
- Case study research should be carried out tracking project outputs as they reach and are disseminated in the digital economy and society, to ascertain the socio-cultural values realised within the creative economy. Such research may be combined with our recommendation for the assessment of whether the quality and value of research outputs is diminished for specific users and/or the public, where researchers have to make compromises in accessing or using rights-protected works.
- Research should be carried out to ascertain whether the right of attribution could or should reflect reputational value in collaborative projects where the law may not recognise individuals as copyright authors of all of the works that the group creates, an aspect which the case study subjects felt to be most important.
- Future research should deepen our understanding of projects funded under individual funding streams, rather than to cross compare different funding streams including other AHRC funded KE hubs.
- The views of early and mid-career researchers should be brought into future research projects, where appropriate.
- Creative industry members partnering with academic researchers should be encouraged to contribute to future publicly funded research projects. Short-term pilot projects attempting to conduct follow-up research with interviewees should use themeled conferences and meetings as potential venues to reconnect with interviewees.
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