Digital technologies and internet have changed the way we experience, engage with and extract value from information goods. The so-called “creative industries” are well positioned to grow in markets where investment in knowledge is a priority, where information and communications technology infrastructure enables new types of value and delivery networks, and where e-commerce is widely adopted by consumers. But for many copyright is increasingly seen as restricting Internet innovation. From this perspective, restrictions are important factors in spurring the emergence of a new type of innovation system in the internet economy that sees multinational corporations, fledgling start-ups, telecommunications providers, content creators and consumers form increasingly complex value chains that defy and contradict the copyright regime.
Unfortunately, much of this debate takes place within an evidence vacuum, despite the obvious need to better understand the role of copyright in incentivising innovation and contributing positively to the economy . There is an urgent need to reflect on current understandings of how can copyright contribute or not to innovation delivering economic value in this new context. Do the rules as they exist in specific countries add to or detract from economic growth? Does the system result in broader economic gains for the many, or has it become a bastion for rent seeking by the few? How copyright reform could be an incentive for economic development in developing countries? We want to use IGF space to discuss copyright reform and internet economy informed by detailed policy analysis - not steered by sectional interests - in order to achieve its function in the digital age.