New UK Copyright Research Center Immediately Under Attack For Daring To Ask About Evidence

from the what's-the-problem? dept

As Techdirt reported last year, some copyright maximalists in the UK seem to be against the whole idea of basing policy on evidence. Last week saw the launch of CREATe: Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology, a new UK "research centre for copyright and new business models in the creative economy." One of the things it hopes to do is to bring some objectivity to the notoriously contentious field of copyright studies by looking at what the evidence really says; so it was perhaps inevitable that it too would meet some resistance from the extremist wing of the copyright world. What's surprising is that it seems to have happened during the launch itself, as Paul Bernal, an academic who was there, reports:

A key idea is that some of the CREATe projects will be gathering evidence -- and attempting to determine what's really true about what's going on. Indeed, the first publication from CREATe is a piece about what will actually constitute evidence from the many, varied perspectives of the different groups involved -- you can find it here. CREATe represents an invaluable opportunity for this gathering of evidence -- to have the money, the expertise and the time for the kind of research that can really look into this is something very, very special. And yet even before the launch event had finished, not even a day into the four year project it appeared that the lobbyists were already trying to suggest that the project was likely to be unfair and biased. The question that immediately springs to mind is what are they afraid of? Don't they want real evidence? Are they worried that the evidence will suggest that their current models both of business and of enforcement are flawed and ineffective? Are they afraid that CREATe will help put together new business models -- and that the new environment will have no place for the 'old' content industries?
In the spirit of academic enquiry, answering these questions is left as an exercise for the reader....

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  1.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 3:45am

    The last gasp of the Copyright industry. The end of days is coming and they are panicking. Their monopoly is over and they will destroy themselves trying to bring it back. I say bring it on.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 3:59am

    Any evidence that shows something other than the cartel's distorted reality is biased.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    Of course they want Real evidence..

    It's just to them 'real' is only anecdotal and/or spectral evidence that matches what their fundamental beliefs in their own self importance is.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:10am

    Re:

    Reality has a built-in anti-distortion field.

    Sadly, corporations are, by design, unable to see this field.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:11am

    Simple rule of thumb:

    Any person or group who objects to research or investigation into their claims is a person or group who has already made up their minds ahead of time, making their claims completely and utterly worthless at best.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:13am

    The problem is...

    The problem is that there may be evidence that suggests weakening copyright may be a good thing. And then people may stop creating art. And then...umm... they'd bring about world peace? Cure disease? Help the poor?

    Umm... No disrespect intended to entertainers, but there are more important things in the world, and if the option is curtail our freedom or risk having less entertainment... I prefer to remain sedated, imprisoned and happy (that's the lobby-approved answer, isn't it?)

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:14am

    The question that immediately springs to mind is what are they afraid of?


    The future.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re:

    Or, like children, they actually see it but claim they do not.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:24am

    Re: Simple rule of thumb:

    Sounds like religion

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:32am

    Re: The problem is...

    - Artists will stop creating art in the absence of copyright.

    I have seen this claim before and thought it to be total bunk, I would think the evidence points in the opposite direction. A study one subject would be interesting.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:46am

    Re: The problem is...

    Artists will stop creating art in the absence of copyright.


    Considering that the oldest known paintings, and oldest flutes are about 40,000 years old, one can reasonably assume that copyright is NOT important to the creation of art. It is important to those who build their business on the ownership of other peoples works, and it is these people who want to strengthen copyright.
    Weakening or removing copyright will not stop the creation of art. The businesses that rely in copyright also rely on people creating in the hope that they will be published by one of the publishing companies,. Copyright has little to do with the creative urges, and much more to do with commercial control of publishing.

     

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  12.  
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    CK20XX, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:47am

    Eesh, copyright isn't a law at all, is it? It's a freaking religion instead. It's been preached that it protects artists and creators, but no one can say how it does that anymore, and if you dare to question it, you are branded a heretic by the church. And being sued by content holders is the same as being condemned to Hell, for all intents and purposes.

     

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  13.  
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    anonymouse, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: The problem is...

    I suspect that any unbiased report would show that there is more art being created today than ever before and most of it is free, yes just look at the amount of sites where you can read books for free where you can watch videos for free where you can listen to music for free, and no this is not the industry leeches that are putting all of this wonderful content up for free , it is the real artists, those that enjoy creating and love the fact that people enjoy their creations, this is not about the minority of artists that are only in it for the money.

    With the internet the monopolist leeches have lost the ability to prevent someone releasing their art to the world for free, they have lost the ability to control the revenue streams and can no longer block great artists because they do not like them.
    The days of the monopolist leeches time is over finally, and art will once again become about the art and not about how much money the leeches can make from someone else's creations.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Re: Simple rule of thumb:

    That is not how it works today. The more extreme the distortion the more politicians will read it and the more neutral and boring results will wilter away. It is all about digging trenches and throwing mud in politics so boring neutral facts are worthless!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 5:00am

    Re: The problem is...

    That is not the result actually. A couple of years ago the music industry in Denmark decided that danish language music was not worth it and cut their ties to it. Today, the danish language music has hit a new prime with a lot of variety and highly creative music.
    After the music industry left it, the creative value has increased dramatically and even more danish language music is coming out, though through self-publishing. That was the opinion of a professor and a musician in a tv-debate.

     

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  16.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re: The problem is...

    "And then people may stop creating art."

    There's no evidence that this will happen. In fact, lowering the bar seems to be increasing - not reducing - the number of people creating art. Statistics from the movie and music industries do seem to be showing that more art is being crated even if that art isn't converting into financial riches.

    If you have evidence that removing copyright does decrease the art being created, now is the time to display and discuss it.

     

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  17.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: The problem is...

    In my experience, when people talk about "less people creating art", what they really mean is "talentless hacks can no longer make a mediocre product and get rich". If the number of stories being created goes down, it's because the author of the latest Twilight rip-off might not bother because the author wasn't guaranteed $X in return. That's not a bad thing, even if the raw number of books written seems to go down slightly. But, nothing seems to indicate that this is really the truth - in fact, more works are tending to be produced as the barrier to entry goes down.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 5:28am

    you wont get more obvious than this as to what is really going on and why the industries concerned are so anti-evidence. once any true reports come out and are presented to the government and law enforcement, how will they be able to justify the paths they have gone down up til now in believing and protecting industries that actually do not need protecting and have no justifiable right to be protected? i am just waiting to see the effects the intense lobbying will have on any reports put out, what will be done if changes are, erm, recommended and the excuses used if nothing is done

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: The problem is...

    I doubt that the amount of art being created has changed much, however the Internet has bypassed the publishing bottleneck. The conversion of art into riches requires fans willing to pay the creator, whether for works, or as donations to keep them creating.
    The creators however first need to have potential fans find their works. This has become easier by use of social networking, though this does not guarantee finding any fans. The internet at least eliminates artists having to be accepted by a gatekeeper before their creations are made available to the public. Success then depends on how many people really like their work, and become fans.

     

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  20.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 6:54am

    Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re:

    So 'fundies' is an awesome insult two-fer?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Pixelation, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    "...the first publication from CREATe is a piece about what will actually constitute evidence "

    It won't be "evidence" unless the legacy gatekeepers can make money...

     

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  23.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    What's amusing is that the same people "concerned" about bias and other issues are precisely the ones that rely heavily on completely biased studies devoid of evidence and factual basis to champion their points of view.

    Nice.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Lobbyists aren't afraid of evidence, per se. They're afraid of evidence they didn't come up with.

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Simple rule of thumb:

    It is more like a an exclusive club, with secret hand shakes, their own language, secret documents, and people having to pay their dues to advance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    Irrelevance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: The problem is...

    " Artists will stop creating art in the absence of copyright." or patents

    Shakespeare anyone .... the wheel ... etc

     

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  28.  
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    Jesse (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    You have to really question any group that is fundamentally opposed to evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    Art without copyright? Nonsense!

    Copyright only dates back to the printing press. All the ancient civilizations had no copyright law, so obviously no civilization before the 1400s created any art.

    I don't think we should have any historians look into my claims, because any study of history is bound to be biased and unfair.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    The last gasp of the Copyright industry

    Don't be fooled. It will be around for about the age of Mickey Mouse + 70 years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Forest_GS (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or, like adults, ignore the monsters under the bed and say they aren't there.

     

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  32.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 5th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Trick questions?

    The question that immediately springs to mind is what are they afraid of? Don't they want real evidence? Are they worried that the evidence will suggest that their current models both of business and of enforcement are flawed and ineffective? Are they afraid that CREATe will help put together new business models -- and that the new environment will have no place for the 'old' content industries?

    Let's see if I can get this... no, yes, and yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    This will just be more evidence that gets buried. Surely you don't think this is a new or original idea? Nor should the results come up to show the staunch supporters of more copyright were wrong that it will ever become public knowledge.

    There are already better than 20 studies that show the very opposite of the claims that stronger copyright means more creations. You never hear of them but the articles about this were out last year. I believe it was Zeropaid that put out the results of a long study. They didn't make it, they were showing the studies favoring less copyright were there but buried through neglect from the media not covering the results.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: The problem is...

    I'm sorry so many people didn't understand what you were saying.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Artists will stop creating art......

    For us

    In the absence of copyright.

    There's the entire quote folks

     

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  36.  
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    Sean, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:11am

    If you look closely, although Dr Bernal's blog posting discusses how important it is to gather evidence on copyright, there is little evidence in his posting - just summation and commentary.

    Regarding the presence of lobbyists, he says quite vague things like '...it appeared that the lobbyists were already trying to suggest that the project was likely to be unfair and biased'.

    However, at no point does he name the companies the lobbyists work for, how many lobbyists asked questions etc. I found it very hard to get a feel for what actually happened without this sort of evidence.

    Maybe the hostile questions or opinions were simply people at the event taking a Devil's Advocate position. I do that sort of thing all the time myself. What words came out of what mouths that said or implied 'We don't want you to gather evidence'? He never says.

    Evidence, evidence, evidence!

    This means that Glyn Moody's statements above such as '..it was perhaps inevitable that it [CREATe] too would meet some resistance from the extremist wing of the copyright world' are based on little real evidence.

    It is also unwarranted, based on the evidence, to headline this Techdirt item as 'New UK Copyright Research Center Immediately Under Attack For Daring To Ask About Evidence'. There is no evidence of any 'attack'.

    I'm not saying that Dr Bernal hasn't got this evidence, but he hasn't presented it in his blog posting and therefore I think it unwise to base judgements on his posting as it stands.

    Don't take my word for it - go and look at his posting for yourselves. No organization names, no numbers, no quotes.

     

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  37.  
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    nasch (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    Don't take my word for it - go and look at his posting for yourselves. No organization names, no numbers, no quotes.

    It looked to me like he was trying to focus on the content rather than making it into an attack piece on particular people or organizations. Do you suspect that he misunderstood what was said, or is mistaken about who said it?

    You can post your feedback on his blog as well, there's a comment on there that he replied to. Maybe you can get a response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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