This Thematic Workshop aims at identifying the new trends in creative content, creation and distribution in the digital environment, and discussing policy challenges lying ahead to ensure a continuous widespread access to a diverse and rich knowledge.
Access to information constitutes a vital tool for spreading knowledge, culture and science, insofar as a significant amount of the world’s human heritage lies in information content and in a vast amount of content, which is being created, distributed and made available for massive consumption. Notwithstanding the way the Internet facilitates access to information, there has been an ongoing debate relating to the scope and boundaries of access users should be allowed to have in some forms of content. Over the past few years in particular, copyright regimes have been struggling how to reconcile the easiness of access conducted through the Internet whilst, at the same time, retaining their ability to provide adequate forms of protection to creators of copyrighted works without compromising rights of access under principles of fair use or fair dealing. Therefore, the critical interrelation between copyright and the promotion of access to knowledge will be explored. The panelists will discuss about the ways in which the Internet, under its current architecture and design, supports notions relating to ‘innovation without permission’ and open standards (which help providing interoperability and maximizing access to resources and services). The discussions will also focus on the variety of tools that are developing within the traditional copyright structure, aiming at positively impacting access to knowledge (such as the Creative Commons licenses, or flexibilities on exceptions and limitations to copyright).
Panelists will put forward their ideas on if and how copyright should adapt to current technological realities linked to the open-internet environment. For instance, smart phone devices, legal music services or advertisement-financed business models are expanding exponentially the possibilities for online distribution and consumption; at the same time, however, they also challenge the current legal and economic functioning of the copyright ecosystem. The discussion will therefore focus on these new emerging markets and opportunities that are providing dynamic and flexible possibilities for the dissemination of content. This panel will also aim at analyzing the new approaches in the distribution of creative content, in particular through the emerging roles of Internet intermediaries, Social Networking Sites (SNS) and User-Generated Content (UGC). In parallel, the discussions will focus on whether there is a need to develop a coherent regulatory framework to facilitate the distribution of content, whilst maintaining the necessary incentives for content production. A reflection on how to make creative content as widely available as possible for access and re-use of information and creative material will also be undertaken.
This panel will therefore provide an opportunity for policy discussions on the impact of digital technologies in the future developments of copyright, and in the existing solutions aiming at achieving a balance between content creations on the one hand, and access to knowledge on the other.