Tagged / copyright

How Martin Kretschmer’s research impacted the proposed plan to extend copyright term

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Prof Martin Kretschmer on how a BU conference and signed statement resulted in the European Union amending a proposed plan on copyright law.

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page!

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGZZ4SrrzSI

 

View Martin Kretschmer’s publications in our institutional repository.

Two new copyright papers by Business School Professors

Professor Ruth TowseProfessor Ruth Towse’s article What we know, what we don’t know, and what policy-makers would like us to know about the economics of copyright, published in the Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues (2011, vol. 8(2), pp.101-120) was recently listed on Social Science Research Network’s (SSRN) Top Ten Download list for: Intellectual Property: Copyright Law eJournal.

Ruth Towse is Professor of Economics of Creative Industries in the Business School, and is Centre for Intellectual Property and Policy Management (CIPPM) co-director (economics).

Professor Paul Heald’s ongoing study exploring the public domain effects Professor Paul Healdof copyright law was reported on The Atlantic, among other places. It shows there are twice as many newly published books available on Amazon from 1850 as there are from 1950.

Paul Heald is Professor of Law at the University of Illinois and Professorial Fellow at the CIPPM, Bournemouth University. You can read more about Professor Heald’s work here.

Copyright levies & market growth: Kretschmer presents in Brussels

Professor Martin KretschmerBU’s Professor Martin Kretschmer presented his latest research on copyright levies to over 70 representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament and international organisations and firms including Google, Nokia and Apple in Brussels last week.

The event saw speakers thrash out the role of intellectual property (IP) in digital markets and particularly the barrier copyright levies pose to market growth. (The levy system adds a tariff to blank CDs, MP3 players, printers, PCs and other copying devices, and the money is given as compensation to the IP owner for loss of sale).

Professor Kretschmer’s research reported the results of three product CDsstudies (printer / scanners, portable music / video / game devices and tablet computers) and analysed the relationship between VAT, levy tariffs and retail prices in 20 levy and non-levy countries.

He argued that reproduction of files for personal use, storage or back up should fall under a (non-compensated) copyright exception as there is no harm due to loss of sale, but that file sharing, performance or social network activities will need a licensing solution.

Speaking alongside Kretschmer was Professor Ian Hargreaves; author of the ‘Hargreaves review’, which was conducted in 2011 for Prime Minister David Cameron, recommending an IP framework to support innovation and economic growth in the digital age.

Audio recordings and slides from the event, ‘Intellectual Property for Growth in Digital Markets’, can be accessed via the Bruegel website.

Martin Kretschmer in the Financial Times

Professor Kretschmer, Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management at Bournemouth University (BU) has commented in the Financial Times in a full page analysis article on rent-seeking.

The article titled ‘Barriers to break through’ discusses economic rents arising from legal monopolies, such as a limited number of taxi licences, or extended periods of copyright protection. Rents allow some to grow rich at the expense of others, and create an incentive to devote resource to lobbying in pursuit of such rents. On copyright, the article says:

“Martin Kretschmer, a law professor at Bournemouth University in England, helped to fight a losing battle against a colossal creation of rents in Europe last year: the extension of copyright on recorded music from 50 to 70 years. The new law transfers €1bn out of the pockets of European consumers and into those of music companies and ageing rock stars.”

“The social argument for copyright is that it gives an incentive for artists to create work. But, as Mr Kretschmer says, ‘the fact that the extension was retrospective gives the game away really’. The Beatles have already recorded Rubber Soul; another 20 years of royalties will not make them record it again. The consensus among academics who study the term of copyright that would best balance the interests of consumers and creators, he adds, is that ’14 years is not an unreasonable starting point’.”

‘Barriers to break through’, by Robin Harding, US economics editor, 23 February, p. 11:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7e316f80-5c80-11e1-911f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1nyOZZ3Fk

BU Professor of Law presents in Geneva

WIPO logoBournemouth University’s Director for the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management (CIPPM), Professor Martin Kretschmer, has been invited to speak at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.

Professor Kretschmer will open the ‘Economics of Intellectual Property’ seminar series on 15 February 2012, with a presentation entitled ‘Private copying and fair compensation: An empirical study of copyright levies in Europe’.

His work is the first independent empirical assessment of the European levy system as a whole. It consolidates the evidence on levy setting, collection and distribution and reviews the scope of consumer permissions associated with levy payments.

Professor Kretschmer will present the results of three studies into printer/scanners, portable music/video/game devices, and tablet computers, including his analysis of the relationship between VAT, levy tariffs and retail prices in 20 levy and non-levy countries.

The full seminar series sees six presentations in Geneva between now and November, each by one of the world’s top Intellectual Property researchers. The full programme, including presentations by Professors of Stanford University and the University of Tokyo can be accessed online.

A video version of Professor Kretschmer’s and other ‘Economics of Intellectual Property’ presentations will be available after the event through the WIPO website.

Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright

Professor Kretschmer’s co-authored publication ‘Privilege and Property’ (Cambridge OpenBook Publishers, 2010, with Professors Deazley and Bently) has been reviewed in the Swiss published journal Archiv für Urheber- und Medienrecht, or UFITA (trans. Copyright and Media Law).

The edited volume is a companion to the AHRC funded digital archivePicture of Professor Martin Kretschmer, ‘Primary Sources of Copyright’, which Professor Kretschmer has co-directed with Professor Bently of Cambridge University since 2006. The archive now comprises of more than 550 documents going back to Renaissance Italy (in facsimile, transcribed, translated and commented).

In the review, the lawyer and chairman of the Swedish Performing Rights Society, Dr Gunnar Petri, writes: “This magnificent resource comprises essential material from all the great traditions of copyright and will enormously facilitate comparative research…. By way of introduction, the editors present a highly interesting picture of the present state of copyright historiography, in itself a ground-breaking venture. They trace the elevation of copyright history into an academic subdiscipline to the years between about 1740 and 1790 in Britain, France and the German-speaking lands, see it in the jurisprudential treatises of the 19th century and note a decline in interest after the signing of the Bern convention [1886], signalling a more functional approach to copyright’s history.”

‘Privilege and Property’ and the digital archive at www.copyrighthistory.org  “deserve the highest appreciation” (Petri).

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission (Digital Agenda), reads BU research, but…

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, made her annual set piece speech at the Media Forum in Avignon, France on 19 November: Who feeds the artist?

Speaking of economic reward: if that is the aim of our current copyright system, we’re failing here too. [then follows a paragraph summarising the BU studies in the area, but without reference] 1000 euros a month is not much to live off. Often less than the minimum wage. But most artists, and not only the young ones at the early stages of their career, have to do so. Half the fine artists in the UK, half the “professional” authors in Germany, and, I am told, an incredible 97.5% of one of the biggest collecting society’s members in Europe, receive less than that paltry payment of 1000 euros a month for their copyright works. Of course, the best-paid in this sector earn a lot, and well done to them. But at the bottom of the pyramid are a whole mass of people who need independent means or a second job just to survive.

[before indicating a change in policy direction] Let’s not wait for a financial crisis in the creative sector to happen to finally adopt the right tools to tackle it.

The data is clearly from:

AUTHORS’ EARNINGS FROM COPYRIGHT AND NON-COPYRIGHT SOURCES: A SURVEY OF 25,000 BRITISH AND GERMAN WRITERS (ALCS Study 2007) http://www.cippm.org.uk/alcs_study.html

COPYRIGHT CONTRACTS AND EARNINGS OF VISUAL CREATORS: A SURVEY OF 5,800 BRITISH DESIGNERS, FINE ARTISTS, ILLUSTRATORS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS (DACS Study 2011) http://www.cippm.org.uk/publications/dacs-report.html

A possible source is my contribution to a Hearing in the European Parliament last June. http://www.cippm.org.uk/news/2011/jun/ne001-future-of-copyright-in-the-digital-era.html

So there is a challenge… I could blog: “European Commission Vice-President reads BU research”.

But no source is cited. Did our studies matter? Is there a causal link to a change in the direction of copyright policy?

In REF terms, was there Impact of research?

Professor Kretschmer’s research at the centre of debate by copyright owners & policy makers

Professor Martin Kretschmer’s research into private copying and fair compensation is at the centre of a discussion at an Intellectual Property Office event next week.

‘Informing Copyright Policy in the UK’ takes place on Wednesday 19 October, in partnership with The Big Innovation Centre.

It is an opportunity for copyright owners, technology companies, consumers, academics and policy makers to discuss exactly what Kretschmer’s findings mean for UK policy making.

The influential research paper, entitled ‘Private Copying and Fair Compensation: A comparative study of copyright levies inEurope’, offers the first independent empirical assessment of the European levy system.

The research consolidates evidence on levy setting and collection, as well as reviewing the scope of consumer permissions associated with levy payments. Professor Kretschmer reports the results of three product level studies – printer / scanners, portable music / video / game devices and tablet computers – and analyses the relationship between VAT, levy tariffs and retail prices in 20 levy and non-levy countries.

The other paper up for discussion is ‘Changing Business Models in the Creative Industries: The Cases of Television, Computer Games and Music, by Dr Nicola Searle from theUniversityofAbertay,Dundee.

More information at the event can be found here.

Professor Kretschmer’s key findings:

– There are dramatic differences between countries in the methodology used for identifying leviable media and devices, setting tariffs, and allocating beneficiaries of the levy. These variations cannot be explained by an underlying concept of economic harm to right holders from private copying.

– The scope of consumer permissions under the statutory exceptions for private copying within the EU does not match with what consumers ordinarily understand as private activities.

– In levy countries, the costs of levies as an indirect tax are not always passed on to the consumer. In competitive markets, such as those for printers, manufacturers of levied goods appear to absorb the levy. There appears to be a pan-European retail price range for many consumer devices regardless of levy schemes (with the exception ofScandinavia).

– In non-levy countries, such as theUK, a certain amount of private copying is already priced into retail purchases. For example, right holders have either explicitly permitted acts of format shifting, or decided not to enforce their exclusive rights. Commercial practice will not change as a result of introducing a narrowly conceived private copying exception.

– A more widely conceived exception that would cover private activities that take place in digital networks (such as downloading for personal use, or noncommercial adaptation and distribution within networks of friends) may be best understood not as an exception but as a statutory licence. Such a licence could include state regulated payments with levy characteristics as part of a wider overhaul of the copyright system, facilitating the growth of new digital services.

Links

Professor Martin Kretschmer’s academic profile

More publications by Professor Martin Kretschmer

CIPPM: Recent policy reports

Prof Martin Kretschmer on Hargreaves’ parody and private use exception to copyright

BU’s Prof Martin Kretschmer will speak at a Houses of Parliament discussion into the practicalities of Professor Hargreaves’ recommended copyright exceptions.

The event, entitled ‘Hargreaves’ exceptions: format-shifting, parody, research and archiving’, takes place on Tuesday 18 October and will bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the practical implications of Professor Hargreaves’ recommendation.

The Hargreaves Review cites the research in developing a recommendation to introduce a limited private copying exception without compensation.

Professor Kretschmer will talk about the European requirement of “fair compensation” in relation to certain copyright exceptions. His research reports the results of three product level studies – printer / scanners, portable music / video / game devices and tablet computers – and analyses the relationship between VAT, levy tariffs and retail prices in 20 levy and non-levy countries. His report on copyright levies, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), has been cited by the Hargreaves Review and in the Government’s response to Hargreaves.

The panel discussion will be chaired by Jim Dowd MP. Other panel members include Martin Brennan, founder and CEO of 3GA Ltd, Richard Brousson, legal counsel at the British Film Institute (BFI) and James Sadri, digital producer at Greenpeace UK.

For further information, please see the following links: 

More on Private Copying and Fair Compensation

Professor Martin Kretschmer’s academic profile

More publications by Professor Martin Kretschmer

Comment on copyright term extension

The deed is done. Copyright term extension for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years was adopted yesterday (12 September 2011) by qualified majority in the European Council. The remaining opposition came from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. Austria and Estonia abstained.

The chorus of approval has been led by aging artists, masking the fact that for more than a decade the lobby for copyright extension has been resourced by the multinational record industry (see related BBC news item). Labels do not want to lose the revenues of the classic recordings of the 1960s which are reaching the end of their current 50 year term. Rather than innovating, right holders find it much easier to exclude competition. Europe is in danger of locking away her music heritage just as digital technology is enabling the opening of the archives.

It is not surprising that many performers’ organisations and collecting societies support the Directive. They do not have to carry the costs – which will exceed EURO 1 billion to the general public (based on the Commission’s own figures – see calculations in Joint Academic Statement issued by Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM, Bournemouth University), the Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law (CIPIL, Cambridge University), the Institute the Institute for Information Law (IViR, University of Amsterdam), and the Max Planck Competition and Tax Law (Munich).

72 percent of the financial benefits from term extension will accrue to record labels. Of the 28 percent that will go to artists, most of the money will go to superstar acts, with only 4 percent benefiting those musicians mentioned in the European Council press release as facing an “income gap at the end of their life times” (New rules on term of protection of music recordings, Council of the EU, 12/09/11). Many performers also do not appear to understand that the proposal would lead to a redistribution of income from living to dead artists.

In an interview with the NY Times yesterday, I said: “This is a dreadful day for musicians and consumers. Policymakers are schizophrenic, speaking a language of change and innovation, but then respond to lobbying by extending the right which gave rise to the problem in the first place. This only entrenches a cynical attitude toward copyright law and brings it into further disrepute.”

Sweden and Belgium issued dissents after the vote in the Council. They are worth quoting in full: Interinstitutional File: 2008/0157 (COD)

Declaration by Sweden

Throughout the negotiations, Sweden has had strong reservations regarding the commission’s proposal to extend the term of protection for sound recordings.

As regards copyright regulation in general Sweden has always stressed the importance of taking all relevant aspects and involved interests into account, in order to maintain a fair balance in the copyright system. We believe this to be essential if we are to successfully uphold respect for the copyright system in the future.

Extending the term of protection for sound recordings as proposed is neither fair nor balanced. It therefore risks undermining the respect for copyright in general even further. Such a development is very unfortunate for all those who depend on copyright protection to make a living.

Sweden believes there to be good reasons for measures aiming at improving the situation for those professional musicians and other artists who often operate under economically difficult conditions. Extending the term of protection will however not primarily be of benefit to this group.

Against this background Sweden regrets the decision to adopt the proposal amending Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.

Belgian declaration

With regard to the proposal for a directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, Belgium believes that a term extension is not an appropriate measure to improve the situation of the performing artists. Furthermore, we believe that the negative consequences the proposal entails do not outweigh the advantages it brings. We can therefore not support this proposal.

It seems that the measure will mainly benefit record producers and not performing artists, will only have a very limited effect for most of the performing artists, will have a negative impact on the accessibility of cultural material such as those contained in libraries and archives, and will create supplementary financial and administrative burdens to enterprises, broadcasting organisations and consumers. Therefore, the overall package of the proposal appears, as demonstrated by a large amount of academic studies [1], unbalanced.

Finally, one has to observe that several initiatives which have clear links with and impact on the proposal, have recently been adopted or announced by the Commission in its Communication of 24 May 2011 [2]. These initiatives include for example a proposal for a directive on orphan works, a new initiative on collective management, and a new initiative on online distribution of audiovisual works. Taking into account this global approach of copyright issues in the internal market, we think that it would only be reasonable to re-examine the merits of this proposal in the context of this global approach.

Notes

[1] See e.g. “The Proposed Directive for a Copyright Term Extension – A backward-looking package” Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM, Bournemouth University), the Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law (CIPIL, Cambridge University), the Institute the Institute for Information Law (IViR, University of Amsterdam), and the Max Planck Competition and Tax Law (Munich); N. HELBERGER, N. DUFFT, S. VAN GOMPEL, B. HUGENHOLTZ, ‘Never forever: why extending the term of protection for sound recordings is a bad idea’, EIPR 2008, 174; S. DUSOLLIER, ‘Les artistes-interprètes pris en otage’, Auteurs & Media 2008, 426.

[2] Communication from the Commission of 24 May 2011, A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe, COM (2011) 287