Copyright and Digital Innovation in the Creative Economy

Theodore Koutmeridis (University of Glasgow), Kristofer Erickson & Martin Kretschmer , “Copyright and Digital Innovation in the Creative Economy: A survey of the evidence, using a peer-produced review method”

Within the last 20 years, copyright law has moved from an esoteric branch of law to the regulatory centre of challenges associated with the digital economy. Social science research emphasizes the importance of evidence in the design of informed policy interventions, and should be well placed to contribute to the evaluation of previous interventions and the design of future policy reforms. The need for evidence-based policies has been intensified by improvements in data and research designs, the development of interdisciplinary research and by the advance of knowledge exchange that encourages a creative dialogue across academe, policy and industry. Surprisingly, the evidence related to copyright policy still remains weak. For example, there have been no attempts to use new research methods relating to big data mining techniques which have encouraged researchers in other policy fields to build theories that are consistent with observation. This study utilises a unique source – a bottom-up, peer-produced Wiki of currently about 500 empirical papers – to attempt to catalogue the existing evidence on copyright policy. The present paper surveys the literature uncovered using this method and points to new directions for future work. A large-scale analysis of key theoretical propositions in the light of new data and empirical research reveals that the current policy debate is often misled. The assessment of the existing evidence indicates the significance of heterogeneity across the various creative industries, identifies successful research strategies from previous studies and highlights gaps.