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Edited by Ruth Towse

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Edited by Ruth Towse

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Edited by Ruth Towse

Several of the authors question the efficacy of copyright, which is increasingly regarded as benefiting multinational organisations rather than individual authors and performers. Others are less critical of copyright per se, but question its ability to meet the new challenges of a digital era. Some of the specific issues covered include: law and international transactions of copyrighted material; economic analysis of copyright and freedom of expression; music licensing in the digital age; the role of copyright in stimulating cultural development; internet distribution of copyright material; and the problems of licensing museum images.
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Ruth Towse

Defining the creative industries as consisting of firms that mass-produce or distribute goods and services with sufficient artistic content to be considered creative and culturally significant, the chapter proceeds to a discussion of their macro and micro economic aspects. Measurement of the size and growth of the creative industries has been an important feature of the macro side, while the analysis by Caves’ application of contract theory to analysing their industrial organisation has been a main feature of the microeconomic aspect. The role of copyright in both these approaches is discussed with reference to digitisation.

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Ruth Towse

Music publishing has been the Cinderella of studies of the music industry, though it is fundamental to other branches and to other creative industries which include musical performances. Historically, composers and songwriters were paid a buy-out fee for the musical copyright, and music publishers’ revenues came from sales of printed music. The advent of sound recording and radio signalled a switch to the management of royalty income via collecting societies.

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Ruth Towse

Traditionally, the performing arts were mostly confined to building-based supply and subject to Baumol’s cost disease. The performance of a standard repertoire in musical and spoken theatre restricted productivity growth, leading to increasing costs and prices, which without state or private grants would rise above the rate of inflation. The advent of digitisation has introduced new possibilities for reaching larger audiences through event cinema, for example, by offering new opportunities to increase access, demand and a source of finance for performing arts organisations.

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Ruth Towse

The author lays out her journey to specialization in cultural economics from her school days to the present. Along the way, she was involved in setting up the Master’s degree in Cultural Economics and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), where she taught courses in cultural economics and economics creative industries for a number of years. Within cultural economics, she specializes in the economics of copyright and was involved in the development of the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI). The main focus of her work has been on artists’ labour markets and the role of copyright in paying creators and performers. In her long career, Ruth Towse has taught economics on a variety of courses, always in the belief that its application, both theoretical and empirical, illuminates policy issues even in the cultural arena, which is often regarded in some sense above economics. Her work and that of other cultural economists has repeatedly shown how it does so.

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Ruth Towse

Contracts set out work conditions and payment terms between creators and performers of all kinds and intermediaries (publishers and other producers) in the creative industries. The chapter highlights Caves’ book Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce, which explains both the underlying economics of contracting within an industry and the various deals that are made with creators and performers, providing a wealth of examples of contracts in the creative industries.

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Ruth Towse

Copyright protects the work of creators and performers from being copied without their permission, enabling them to control its use and so to require payment for it. What that payment is – usually a royalty – depends upon conditions in the market in which it is used. The chapter discusses the outcome in terms of income from copyright, using evidence from one of the early surveys of copyright earnings, and shows how the results can be presented using the Lorenz curve to demonstrate both low and also how unequal earnings are.

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Ruth Towse

BBC3 is a television channel in the UK that targets young people. In 2015 the BBC transferred it from over-the air broadcasting to a digital channel accessed by the BBC iPlayer catch-up service. The BBC is a public sector broadcaster (psb) and its digital policy has to comply with its psb mandate; this transfer was part of a cost-cutting policy. An article by Doyle (2016) reviewing the economics of psb and the transfer to digital provides the basis for the discussion in this chapter.