News in brief

Published: 15 January 2021

A round-up of news across the University

FinTech forum

Staff from the Adam Smith Business School are taking part in a round-table discussion event on Wednesday 20 January in collaboration with Zhejiang University International Business School (ZIBS) and FinTech Scotland. The title of the event is "FinTech Ecosystems – Innovation, Evolution and Future Opportunities" and the panel will discuss the key challenges currently facing FinTech and the opportunities that can arise from these challenges.

This event is open to all University staff.

Research Culture Awards

The Research Culture Awards 2021 are now open for nominations, closing on 31 March 2021.

CREATe, submits evidence to Parliamentary Inquiry

CREATe, the UK Copyright and Creative Economy Centre based in the School of Law, has submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry by the DCMS Committee into the ‘Economics of Music Streaming’.  

Music streaming has become the pre-eminent means for the dissemination and consumption of recorded music, fundamentally altering the core revenue-generating activity of the recording industry. It has changed from an industry principally engaged in the manufacture and sale of music products to an industry engaged in licensing access to music services. This shift has profound ramifications for primary creators, investors and consumers.  

The CREATe contribution to the Inquiry draws on empirical research conducted by CREATe researchers examining the music copyright industries and relevant research on IP in the wider creative industries as part of the AHRC Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC) at the University of Glasgow.  The evidence presented focuses on one question from the call: How can policy favour more equitable business models?  

The CREATe submission highlights the difficulties contingent in attempting to construct a digital music environment modelled on conventions established in the analogue era. As such, it seems unlikely that redefining streaming of sound recordings as ‘communication to the public’ akin to radio broadcast will be practicable or result in remunerative equity for creators and investors. 

Moreover, the financial rewards that creators receive from streaming services are, to a significant extent, governed by the contracts they enter into with record companies and music publishers. The submission argues that existing remedies such as the ‘use it or lose it’ and ‘best-seller clause’ provisions should be augmented by limitations to contractual assignability of copyright.  

This DCMS call for evidence is indicative of the significant digital challenges facing regulators in the wider cultural sector. These debates have considerable resonance with CREATe research focussing on authors’ earnings, reversionary rights and platform regulation. Collectively and individually, CREATe members have recently contributed written submissions and oral evidence to the ongoing Inquiry in the adjacent field of public service broadcasting.  

Professor Robert Rennie

Tributes have been paid to Robert Rennie, Emeritus Professor of the School of Law, who died on 6 January 2021.

First published: 15 January 2021