Copyright and the Value of the Public Domain: An Empirical Assessment

Erickson, K. , Heald, P., Homberg, F., Kretschmer, M. and Mendis, D. (2015) Copyright and the Value of the Public Domain: An Empirical Assessment. Project Report. UK Intellectual Property Office, Newport.

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The overall purpose of the project was 1) to map the size of the public domain and frequency of its use; 2) analyse the role of public domain works in value creation for UK businesses; 3) assist creators and entrepreneurs to identify business models that benefit from the public domain. In addition to these outputs, the intellectual contribution of this project was to arrive at a sufficiently precise definition of the public domain that would permit measurement of its value, and secondly, to critically appraise theories of creativity and innovation that explain how value might be generated from non-exclusive use of ideas and works available to all. The non-rival, non-excludable nature of the public domain would seem to limit its appeal to creators in a competitive market. Any observed commercial uptake of public domain material consequently raises important questions: What stimulates creators to invest in transforming or re-publishing public domain works? How do firms gain and sustain competitive advantage when exploiting freely available public domain materials? What policy options are available to promote market uptake of public domain materials, and what are the likely impacts?

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Project Report)
Additional Information:ISBN: 978-1-908908-91-9
Keywords:copyright, public domain, IP, innovation, creative commons, creative industries, crowdfunding, wikipedia, peer production
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Erickson, Professor Kristofer and Kretschmer, Professor Martin
Authors: Erickson, K., Heald, P., Homberg, F., Kretschmer, M., and Mendis, D.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
K Law > K Law (General)
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T201 Patents. Trademarks
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Publisher:UK Intellectual Property Office
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Crown
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under an Open Government Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
621241The Value of Public Domain Works: Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange to Develop Policies for the Commercial Use of Public Domain WorksMartin KretschmerEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K008137/1SCHOOL OF LAW