Tracking IP Across the Creative Technologies project (TRI-PACT)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: School of Art, Design and Media

Abstract

The 'Tracking IP Across the Creative Technologies' project (TRI-PACT) aims to advance the research agenda and stimulate creative and strategic thinking around the management, protection, sharing, access, use and reuse of Intellectual Property (IP) within and across the technology-rich creative domains of Film, Broadcast and Games.

Near-universal digitization of creative media combined with ubiquitous high-bandwidth internet access has transformed media consumption behaviours, patterns and expectation. The ever-increasing convergence in form between film, broadcast and computer games mean that audiences can simultaneously and seamlessly engage with all three on multiple devices. Although there is some reuse of resources and content across these domains (for example the CGI that is generated in films can then be used by the games industry), single-media IP frameworks and licensing strategies have remained largely in-place, which has restricted the wider sharing of the rich materials generated by these industries with their audiences, other practitioners, researchers and educationalists in this new and converged landscape.

This shifting context requires a convergence in thinking about how to manage and protect IP to facilitate cross-media sharing, access, use and reuse. The problem is compounded by the fact that the complexities of digital audiovisual content are at such a level, that potentially every frame of film, video or CGI, individual element of a set, phrase of a script or CGI character, could potentially have a different set of licensing and IP issues attributed to it. In current and emerging digital asset management technologies, such legal, contractual and rights data can be generated within the production cycle and recorded within the metadata that accompanies each piece of content, but access to this by external stakeholders is limited; contractual rights, privacy, legal implications are all hidden from view, and there is a lack of transparency and clarity around how such materials can be discovered, accessed, used and reused by different audience constituencies.

The TRI-PACT project draws together a group of key stakeholders (practitioners, researchers, educationalists and industry partners) to rethink and re-imagine current IP structures within Film, Broadcast and Games production toward a new enabling model of IP management and protection that facilitates cross-media sharing, access, use and reuse. Each domain has its own unique set of challenges, with divergent practices and structures whilst also sharing many commonalities. By bringing together key representatives of these three fields, the project will facilitate knowledge exchange, evolve shared understandings of IP, develop requirements case studies through cross-domain dialogue and explore novel approaches to IP management, through technical sketches which extend current and emerging digital asset management technologies to incorporate explicit, detailed modelling of IP.

The key deliverables from the project will be a set of guidelines to support stakeholders wishing to engage with the approach in their IP management practice and a shared roadmap towards more substantive professional and technical integration and support, augmented by the case studies and associate technical sketches to provide a more detailed exposition of the main principles of the approach.

TRI-PACT directly benefits from the work of the AHRC-funded cross-disciplinary 'Deep Film Access Project' (DFAP), which explores how digital assets and associated metadata can be mapped, organized and interlinked to enable richer and enhanced appreciation and understandings of the materials generated by film production and its concomitant work processes. TRI-PACT partners include researchers working internationally across Film, Broadcast and Game with a specific interest in IP. Commercial and cultural partners from Film, Broadcast and Games include BFI, BBC and UKIE

Planned Impact

The core impact, running through the entire project, is the removal of the barriers to access and reuse of assets for producers, and audiences, of film, broadcast and games content of all types and scale, through a more effective and enabling cross-media IP framework.
The ambitions in delivering the project are realistic and we have considered two approaches - to engagement - research-led and user-led. These two approaches will work together to maximise impact and ensure uptake occurs within a project in which the resources (staff and non-staff costs) are capped at £50,000. For this reason, the individual pathways (described in 'Pathways to Impact') are designed to improve the chances of the research fulfilling its potential impact(s) upon the future direction of content management for games, film, television, online and other media platforms. Examples of such potential impact include:
- Advancement of more effective ways of interrogating the origins and potential of latent intellectual property while protecting the rights of the IP creators and owners to ensure they are properly compensated and rewarded, irrespective of how their original IP is adapted and used across different media. A wider group of beneficiaries include policymakers or others interested in the governance of IP management.
- Enhancing relationships between organisations involved in the development of more accessible digital assets in the production of films, television and games, designed for myriad platforms (e.g. mobile devices) which will lead to more productive and enriched experiences for those involved in developing content and users who enjoy accessing the content via platforms of their choice.
- New models and frameworks for IP developed from the collaborative research methodology - combining the skills and knowledge through cross-disciplinary working between film scholars, media academics, computer scientists, visual media experts, filmmakers, broadcasters, games producers and archive / curation specialists. The long-term aim is to develop these models further toward a cross-media approach in order to reach new audiences, and to apply them as new means by which to make accessible the vast range and volume of datasets and metadata associated with film, broadcast and games in order to enrich the experience for the general public.
- Enriching the data available to researchers, content creators, archivists, curators, scholars and those interested in films, broadcast and games (viewers, fans, critics) by establishing a new framework of IP and methodology for making accessible IP data.
- Encouraging academic disciplines to work together - combining traditional research methodologies with practice-based approaches, associated with computer science with those derived from knowledge, experience and expertise in the arts and humanities. The combination of skills between the PI and Co-Is will act as an example case study during the dissemination of research results activities (see Case for Support and Pathways to Impact) - as a means of starting to have an impact - particularly within HE Arts-led projects that bring in advanced skills and expertise from other disciplines to improve research design, methodology and results.
- The long-term aim is to encourage content creators, content managers, filmmakers, broadcasters, game designers, game companies, to adopt a culture of thinking about the datasets as much as the visual assets from the films they create and to work with those who will be responsible for curating them (Museums, content producers, universities, broadcasters and studios).
- A much longer-term potential impact is to prove the value and transferability of the research methodology and application of the research results - specifically the new IP model - to other areas of arts and culture. For example, the principles of this research project could be equally applied to digital arts, music production and performing arts.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Live Cinema: Walking the Tightrope Between Stage & Screen 
Description This film examines the growing prominence of live cinema phenomena in the global film experience economy. Live cinema is an oxymoron - it brings together cinema, which is a pre-recorded, pre-packaged and passive medium, with live, which disrupts and challenges what cinema is and can become in new and exciting ways. Academic specialists Sarah Atkinson and Helen W. Kennedy take you on a journey through historical and contemporary moments of artistic and technological innovation. Featuring interviews with pioneers at the vanguard of live cinema - Woody Harrelson who talks about his feature-length live film 'Lost in London'; Academy Award winning historian Kevin Brownlow; celebrated theatre director Katie Mitchell OBE and Walter Murch, Academy Award winning film editor. The film also features contributions from significant leaders in the field - National Theatre Live, Royal Opera House Live, Light Surgeons and Blast Theory. Each have evolved their own distinctive versions of live cinema yet all share in common their role in pushing the boundaries of 21st Century film spectatorship, offering audiences new ways to experience cinema. The film examines the cutting-edge innovations that respond to audiences' increasing desire for live and authentic cinematic experiences. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Since its completion in November, the film has already been shown at two industry events: The Future of Film Summit, BFI, London, November 2019 to 200 digital film production professionals and This Way Up Conference, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, December 2019 attended by 200+ professionals from the film exhibition sector. The film was also screened at the annual Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association conference in January 2020. These diverse fora demonstrate our success in appealing to a broad range of audiences. 
 
Description Impacts upon project participants are listed in the Engagement Activities section of my portfolio.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Creative Economy
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Live Cinema Conference 2016 Digital Resource Pack 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A USB memory stick containing all of the digital resources, including over 7 hours of filmed content, generated by the Live Cinema Conference, held at King's College London on Friday 27th May 2016.

The stick contains:

- Videos of all three panel discussions (1.5 hours each)
- Videos of the two mastercalsses (Intellectual Property (IP) & Licensing Master class and Audience Development & Marketing Masterclass) (1.5 hours each)

- Digital stills from two workshops (Training, Development & Education Workshop and Funding ideas lab)

- Digital (pdf) copies of:
- The conference programme
- Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies - Special Issue
- Live Cinema in the UK report
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2016
URL http://estore.kcl.ac.uk/product-catalogue/academic-faculties/faculty-of-arts-humanities/department-o...
 
Description Live Cinema Intellectual Property (IP) & Licensing Master class 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A Live Cinema Intellectual Property (IP) & Licensing Master class was hosted at The Live Cinema Conference, King's College London on 27 May 2016.

The Live Cinema Conference involved contributions from forty-six speakers and over two hundred participants were either present or connected online for the duration. Representatives attended from across the film industry, the film exhibition sector, arts and cultural organisations, funding bodies and the academy. An interdisciplinary steering group of academics and professionals working within the event and live cinema domains developed and curated the programme with the explicit intention to stimulate and advance thinking and practice in this nascent field. The day-long conference was comprised of one keynote (Professor Martin Barker, Aberystwyth University), three panels, two masterclasses, two workshops, an interactive film exhibition, a networking space and an immersive theatrical screening.

The Intellectual Property (IP) & Licensing Master was a direct intervention originating from the findings of the TRI-PACT Live Cinema case study and included the continued collaboration with TRI-PACT's Intellectual Property Adviser, Prof. Charlotte Waelde (Professor of IP, Coventry University) who chaired the masterclass. The master class panelists were Dr Barbara Lauriat (Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London), Matt Parritt (Associate, Harbottle & Lewis LLP) and Bryony Forde (Theatrical Sales Executive, Icon Film Distribution).

The creation and delivery of Live Cinema experiences pose specific challenges to producers, creative, studios and distributors since they can include reinterpretations of the original text (such as soundtrack re-scoring) and the use of existing Intellectual Property (such as costumes, props and characters) in immersive cinema performances. The master class, delivered by IP experts and lawyers specializing in media rights, in conversation with representatives from the Live Cinema industry who are involved in the commissioning and delivery of new and innovative live cinema experiences grappled with this emergent creative landscape.  

The panel discussed the critical challenges facing the different stakeholders in relation to creative production in this emergent field. They talked through how exhibitors put on an open air event and how they liaised with organizations such as FilmBank Media. They considered inhibiting factors that might impact upon the successful development of this cultural form and what could be done to mitigate against these. They debated whether changes in law, changes to the current policies, changes in the working practices and new education and training initiatives were needed to address IP issues faced by the Live Cinema sector.

Contractual issues, actors and performance rights, trademarking, character licensing and merchandising, celebrity endorsement were all discussed. It was recognised that the
dominance of the Hollywood rights model restricted innovation, was highly complex and in need of change.

A summary of the discussions have been taken forwards into publication, making suggestions for policy intervention and development of working practices:
(Atkinson, Sarah, and Helen W. Kennedy. "Live Cinema Conference." Conference Report. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media 12 (Winter 2016): 133-40. Web. ISSN: 2009-
4078.)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.livecinemanetwork.org/conference/masterclasses-workshops/
 
Description TRI-PACT workshop: Cinematic┬áBricoleurs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This one-day event - delivered as part of the AHRC funded Tracking IP Across the Creative Technologies project - explored key contributions to the field of remixing, restyling and repurposing existing audiovisual material (sourced from archives, and both the commercial and public domains) in contemporary filmmaking practice. It was held on 8th January 2016 at King's College, London.
Featuring critically and/or politically motivated examples alongside artistic and creative narrative driven experimentations, speakers at the event presented and considered these works alongside established film industry practices through the lens of intellectual property.
A panel of creators, academics and IP law specialists from the UK, US and EU debated the opportunities, challenges and futures of audiovisual content reuse in the context of the currently shifting sands of territory specific intellectual property legislation set against the wider backdrop of the global digital economy.  Speakers and panellists were: Francesca Coppa (Professor of English at Muhlenberg College and a founding member of the Organization for Transformative Works),
Desiree D'Alessandro (Remix artist), Dr. Owen Gallagher (Lecturer of web media at Bahrain Polytechnic and is the founder of TotalRecut.com), Elizabeth Gibson (BBC intellectual property lawyer), Daniel Herbert (Associate professor in Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan), Richard Misek (Film theorist and montagist), Graham Rawle  (Writer and collage artist), Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament) and Prof. Charlotte Waelde (Professor of Intellectual Property Law).

The event was attended by the BBC, BFI, artists, producers, academics and students, all of whom were surveyed afterwards.

In response to a question on their engagement with new knowledge and perspectives at the event, participants commented that they gained new insights into:
"Legal nuances across jurisdictions are fascinating."
"The transnational problems of IP."
"the UK perspective - such as 'fair dealing'."
"the benefits of cross border cooperation and a less stringent copyright protection scheme."

Asked if their opinions had changed as a result of this engagement, participants commented:
"I am now more open to an open system of copyright protection as in the US fair dealing."
"I have a more nuanced understanding now."
"Yes, more multicultural view/awareness."
"It has 'clarified' me (sic) and exposed me to new views which was helpful."

In response to a question around whether their working practices would be influenced and adopted as a result of their participation in the conference debate, panelists commented that:
"Definitely, I want to make it easier for musicians to create new soundtracks to films."
"Yes IP management will be helpful to thinking about relationship between industry and audiences."
"Yes absolutely - I will use it to refine my ideas on remix/copyright and to inform my future writing."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/cmci/eventrecords/2016/Cinematic-Bricoleurs.aspx
 
Description TRI-PACT workshop: Stories of Our Shared World 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of our project - we co-delivered the following industry-facing conference on 16th October, 2016 - "Conducttr Conference 2015: Transmedia for Change - Connected Learning - Persistent Engagement."
The conference brought together insightful case studies, academic talks, and practical workshops in order to present the importance and power of participatory experiences.
Bringing together connected learning, transmedia for change, and persistent engagement, the conference delved into the use of transmedia practices to generate real impact and change behaviour (at both community and personal levels), looking at the importance of audience engagement to connect communities, developing social skills and generating transformative actions.
As part of the conference programme, we hosted our own TRI-PACT-focussed workshop: "Stories of Our Shared World - Exploring value in co-creation." (By Mandy Rose, Sarah Atkinson & Helen Kennedy)
In this workshop Mandy Rose presented a series of collaborative documentary projects in order to facilitate some detailed examination and discussion of the participant/audience/contributor as co-creator of the final work. Participants were asked to contribute to consideration of how to 'value' these contributions and how to understand the shift in control and 'authorship' that is engendered by collaborative and co-creative processes.

Participants who included transmedia practitioners freelancers and educators were surveyed after the workshop, and commented that they gained the following insights:

"Interesting insight into the value of audience content generation"
"It not only highlighted it as an invaluable process but a definitive need for work that relies on audience immersion via user-interface."
"Interesting points relating to calls to action: value/rewards of/ for participation."
"Collaboration of producer and subject changes the game."
"Range of values, dominance of 'intangible' style, values - sense of community."
"The challenges of the method often lie in planning and curation."
"Some key considerations are: usability, accessibility, outlining clearly navigation procedures, difficulties of creating a call to action."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.conducttr.com/conducttr-conference-2015/tri-pact-tracking-ip-across-the-creative-technolo...
 
Description TRI-PACT workshop: To IP or not IP? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of the Games strand of TRI-PACT, a series of workshops were delivered in conjunction with the Develop conference in Brighton, on 15th July, 2016. These were targeted at independent games producers, developers and games companies.

The IP Lunch: Top 5 IP Management Tips featured a panel of experts from across the media industries, including Mo Ali (IP Co-ordinator, UKIE),
Professor Charlotte Waelde (Professor of IP Law, University of Exeter),
Jon Gillard (Head of Licensing for Games Workshop), Ella Romanos (Co-Founder, Strike Game Labs & columnist for Develop) and Phil Gaskell (Former Sony Senior Producer, now co-founder of indie publisher Ripstone), each offering their top tips for indie game developers to maintain, enhance, and protect their own intellectual property.
The IP Surgery gave indie developers the chance to begin working through any specific IP challenges with Professor of IP Law Charlotte Wealde from the University of Exeter.

Navigating the IP Eco System was aimed at developers looking to adapt an existing IP, or for those looking to transfer their game IP to another medium. The panelists were Colin Macdonald (Games Commissioner, Channel 4)
Professor Charlotte Waelde (Professor of IP Law, University of Exeter),
Alison Sterling (Film producer, Ignition Films) and Alexander Birke, (Indie Developer of acclaimed 'Adventures of Bertram Fiddle').

The day of events were coordinated and chaired by Dr Tomas Rawlings (Auroch Digital, Bristol Games Hub, GametheNews.net (agreatbecoming.com), in collaboration with Dr Tom Phillips and Helen Kennedy TRI-PACT games investigator.

Participants, who were predominantly independent games producers, developers and games companies from organisations including Sun and Moon studios, WowNow Digital, Grumpy Ferret, EllaRomanos Ltd, UKIE, Archive Games, Out of bounds, Fat Pebble, Stainless games, and Auroch Digital were all surveyed after the event.

In terms of their exposure to new knowledge and perspectives, participants noted that they would benefit from:

"Fascinating legal insights"
"I have now seen the benefits of approaching publishers on producing games for an existing IP"
"aware of issues with piracy and the balance of setting up and maintaining an IP with the potential money returns"
"Importance and benefits of updating IP"
"Importance of keeping IP in mind at start"
"Specifics of different types of IP"
"Dealing with UGC and IP"
"Build in early, be mindful of developing content that is expandable"
"What to do with IP in case a contract is cancelled"
"An understanding of pitfalls to watch out for;
"An understanding of how things work in the more developed film industry"
"An understanding of how to use other IP in our games"
"Opened my eyes to how collaborating in IP is very circumstantial and that one contribution can be difficult to distinguish from another"
"Differentiation in copyright/patent laws"
"Benefits of approaching IP holders in other media"
"Difference between copyright, patents, trademark, authorship rights"

Asked if their own working practices would be influenced and adopted as a result, participants commented that:

"Yes I will look out for issues with piracy"
"Yes I will look into approaching IP owners on doing co production"
"I'm making a game with possible UGC and that will possibly merge IPs so will be useful in this"
"Yes helped me work better with indie developers"
"Yes, IP is key not a 'nice to have' so build it in"
"It will help in contract negotiation"
"Yes we have some practical examples of how to use external IP"
"Yes I can re-evaluate any future collaborative relationship"
"Yes during initial design phase e.g. build our own broken pirate copy to release!"
"I have learned not to be afraid to update my content and when to stop"
"I will attempt to consider IP value when consulting with clients"
"Business development opportunities to investigate"
"Yes be clearer about sorting rights out"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/whats-on/sallis-benney-events/theatre-2015/jul-2015/to-ip-or-not-ip