The Roles of IP and Diversity in the Creative Industries

Lead Research Organisation: Coventry University
Department Name: Ctr for Dance Research

Abstract

The creative and cultural industries have been the focus of policy attention in both South Africa and the UK over recent decades. A common theme is the contribution that the creative industries can make to wealth creation. Two issues lie at the heart of the debate: the first is how intellectual property (IP) might be used by the creative industries, and the second is around how participation in the creative industries could be more diverse and inclusive. These are linked as both address sustainability of the sector through the potential for direct economic return and deepening of social and cultural representation.

This network seeks to address these debates by bringing together researchers, creative industries participants and representatives, IP practitioners and early career researchers from South Africa and the UK to explore similarities and differences between the regulation of IP, and of equality and diversity in the creative industries. The network is interested in how the protection of indigenous knowledge as IP in South Africa might impact on trade with the UK (and Europe), how diversity and equality policies play out in practice, and how different cultural traditions may have different impacts on both IP and diversity and equality in the creative industries.

The network will come together three times: the first in London where the meeting will be timed to coincide with a major cultural industries event such as a Remix Summit. The second network meeting will take place in Grahamstown in South Africa to coincide with the National Arts Festival and during which the network will participate in the Thinkfest. The third network meeting will also be in South Africa and will be an open meeting to which a range of stakeholders will be invited and at which the network will disseminate its findings.

Outputs of the network will include:
A peer-reviewed paper co-authored by network members addressing the findings from the network and containing a case study comparing diversity in the creative industries and the place of IP in the creative process as between the UK and South Africa, illustrating the possibilities and challenges faced, and policy implications.
Three think papers and policy briefs for creative industry decision-takers and policy-makers on the place of IP in the creative process with comparative observations on diversity in the creative and cultural industries. These will be short, provocative, forward-looking documents based on insights from the meetings.
Online resources and media including a website, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and six 'talking heads' explaining in clear and accessible terms and to a general audience the purpose of the network and of its outcomes.
A Thinkfest event in South Africa organised to coincide with the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

Planned Impact

Our key audiences are:
Participants in micro creative industries in South Africa and England interested in the place of intellectual property and in particular copyright (IP) in the innovation life cycle; Policy-makers concerned with trade in IP products and processes in the creative industries as between South Africa and the UK, and whether South Africa's IP framework and in particular the protection of indigenous knowledge might have an impact on trade flows; Creative industries participants and policy-makers in both South Africa and the UK interested to know how diversity and equality policies play out in practice and in exploring how different cultural traditions may have different impacts; the general public which we will seek to inform both about the work of the international network, and its importance, through a social media strategy.

We will reach our audiences through their participation at the three network meetings in both South Africa and the UK, both as presenters and participants; during these there will be informed comparative debate on issues pertaining to IP, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable development in the micro creative industries. In addition we will publish three think papers and policy briefs on the place of IP in the creative process with comparative observations on diversity in the creative and cultural industries. These will be short, provocative, forward-looking documents based on insights from the meetings. In addition we will reach out to creative industry participants, enablers and the general public during a Thinkfest that the network will take part in South Africa as part of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. We will reach the general public though our social media strategy including a blog, Facebook and Twitter and six talking heads recorded by different members of the network explaining in clear and accessible terms and to a general audience the purpose of the network meetings and of their outcomes.

We will measure impact through semi-structured interviews with participants in the Thinkfest, network participants, and attendees at the third network event during which findings of the network will be disseminated.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This research examines the nexus between digital technologies, innovation, intellectual property, and diversity in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). A cluster of 349 CCI firms in the Cape Town metro area were located and mapped, and data was collected from 74 firms via telephone interviews and an online survey. The research design was based partly on a similar study conducted in the UK in the Brighton cluster (Sapsed and Nightingale, 2013), which enabled interesting international comparisons.
The results of the study show strong evidence of a cluster of CCI firms in Cape Town that are "fused", that is, they combine digital technology with creative inputs to produce goods and services. They are also an interdisciplinary cluster, with high levels of innovation in business processes, goods and services. Despite high levels of innovation, only a minority used formal IP protection, or earned revenue from IP. More than a third of firms are start-ups, founded in the past 5 years. While most firms are small (median employees was 4), they have the ability to draw on a wide range of external skills around specific projects (median of 5 freelances employed per firm). This business model allows them to be agile and productive in the volatile, project-based world of the CCIs.
Although fused firms in the Cape Town cluster are not yet showing the superior growth performance found in the UK study, results suggest that the Draft Science, Technology and Innovation policy of South Africa, currently very heavily biased towards STEM sector firms, could profitably include the CCIs. This is particularly the case for sectors like the Design and Creative Services and Audio-Visual and Interactive Media domains, which are most likely to use innovative technologies and contribute the largest share of the creative economy's part of GDP. Similarly, the current South African White Paper on Arts and Culture could pay more attention to a broadened definition of "innovation" and offering support to firms combining digital technology and creative inputs.
Although the ownership and employment demographics of firms in the Cape Town cluster were not representative of the population, fused firms were more likely to be inclusive and diverse, both in terms of ownership and employees, than unfused firms. Support for these kind of firms would thus also further the social justice and transformation agenda.
Exploitation Route The findings are important for policy makers in the creative and cultural industries. Of particular note was that fused firms (those that fused technology with creativity) were more likely to be inclusive and diverse, both in terms of ownership and employees, than unfused firms. Support for these kind of firms would thus also further the social justice and transformation agenda in South Africa
While further research would be needed to strengthen these findings, a comparative study should be done in the UK to see if the same results are obtained. This would then strongly suggest that support for these kinds of firms in the UK would strengthen the Creative Case for Diversity.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

 
Description IP and Diversity in the (Micro) creative industries: comparisons with South Africa 
Organisation Nelson Mandela University
Department Department of Arts & Culture
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-authorship of a report supported by the South African Cultural Observatory 'The Overlaps between the digital and creative sectors: Innovation and Technology in the Creative Economy of South Africa' (forthcoming 2020) Joint presentation at cultural event in Grahamstown South Africa Attendance and participation in network meetings: 1 in London; 1 in South Africa and 1 in Johannesburg
Collaborator Contribution Co-authorship of a report supported by the South African Cultural Observatory 'The Overlaps between the digital and creative sectors: Innovation and Technology in the Creative Economy of South Africa' (forthcoming 2020) Joint presentation at cultural event in Grahamstown South Africa Attendance and participation in network meetings: 1 in London; 1 in South Africa and 1 in Johannesburg
Impact Main output is report 'The Overlaps between the digital and creative sectors: Innovation and Technology in the Creative Economy of South Africa' (forthcoming 2020) supported also by the South African Cultural Observatory. Important research and findings: This research examines the nexus between digital technologies, innovation, intellectual property, and diversity in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). A cluster of 349 CCI firms in the Cape Town metro area were located and mapped, and data was collected from 74 firms via telephone interviews and an online survey. The research design was based partly on a similar study conducted in the UK in the Brighton cluster (Sapsed and Nightingale, 2013), which enabled interesting international comparisons. The results of the study show strong evidence of a cluster of CCI firms in Cape Town that are "fused", that is, they combine digital technology with creative inputs to produce goods and services. They are also an interdisciplinary cluster, with high levels of innovation in business processes, goods and services. Despite high levels of innovation, only a minority used formal IP protection, or earned revenue from IP. More than a third of firms are start-ups, founded in the past 5 years. While most firms are small (median employees was 4), they have the ability to draw on a wide range of external skills around specific projects (median of 5 freelances employed per firm). This business model allows them to be agile and productive in the volatile, project-based world of the CCIs. Although fused firms in the Cape Town cluster are not yet showing the superior growth performance found in the UK study, results suggest that the Draft Science, Technology and Innovation policy of South Africa, currently very heavily biased towards STEM sector firms, could profitably include the CCIs. This is particularly the case for sectors like the Design and Creative Services and Audio-Visual and Interactive Media domains, which are most likely to use innovative technologies and contribute the largest share of the creative economy's part of GDP. Similarly, the current South African White Paper on Arts and Culture could pay more attention to a broadened definition of "innovation" and offering support to firms combining digital technology and creative inputs. Although the ownership and employment demographics of firms in the Cape Town cluster were not representative of the population, fused firms were more likely to be inclusive and diverse, both in terms of ownership and employees, than unfused firms. Support for these kind of firms would thus also further the social justice and transformation agenda.
Start Year 2018