New Research Suggests Digital Economy Act & ACTA Will Stifle Creativity

from the understanding-creativity dept

Glyn Moody points us to some research coming out of the University of Leicester which suggests that highly restrictive copyright laws and enforcement regimes actually serve to harm creative output and the creative industries. This is a point that we've discussed in the past, so it's nice to see more research being done in this area. Basically, what the research is finding is that these legislative efforts are serving to limit the technologies that are used to create new works today.

Of particular concern is that it will "stifle the creative opportunities for youngsters with tough regulation on digital media restricting young peoples’ ability to transform copyrighted material for their own personal and, more importantly, educational uses." Now, I can already hear the copyright system defenders claiming that transforming copyright materials for their own uses is not a "creative opportunity," but that's wrong. The way young people learn to create is initially through emulation. You learn to draw what you see. You learn to play the music that others wrote. And as you start to play around, you transform it in your own way. That's the very basis of young creative expression.

The issue is that new digital technologies allow for a modern version of that in things like digital mashups and remixes. People who don't recognize that these are the modern day equivalents to creating new artworks by attempting to copy what others have done will scoff, but they are mostly demonstrating the myopic view that modern technology used for creativity and creative learning simply "isn't like it used to be." Creativity comes in all forms, and what young people learn today through transforming the creative works of others is what will lead to the great artwork and creative output of tomorrow... if the legacy industries and our politicians don't stamp out such creative opportunities.

Filed Under: acta, copyright, creativity, dea

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  1. identicon
    David from the Trust, 28 Jun 2010 @ 10:09am

    Copyright measures and the future of the creative industries

    In response to the suggestion of this research that copyright measures serve to harm creative output and the creative industries, I'd like to offer another perspective on why measures such as the Digital Economy Act are important for the future of the creative industries.

    It's a shame that these steps are needed, however, with so much content from across the creative industries being shared illegally online, the problem of copyright theft has a real impact on the income of those whose hard work and time goes into creating them.

    For the Film and Television industry (who I work with), the perception is often that copyright theft doesn't really matter because the large companies can afford to lose some of their profits. However, it's an industry alll about reinvestment, so all lost money means less money to make future films, and therefore less jobs for those that make them.

    Ultimately, production companies will have to choose to make only the sort of content they know they will get a big return from, so we risk getting a much more narrow, less diverse choice of films and TV shows.

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