Two Research Associates working on
AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Project
The Creative Economy, Digital Technology and Innovation
Based at CRASSH from 1 January – 31 December 2013
Salary Range: £27,528 - £35,938
Deadline : 12pm Friday 26 October 2013
The AHRC project is directed by Professor Simon Goldhill (CRASSH) and Professor Lionel Bently (Law), with a steering group:
Grant Young (University Library)
Anne Alexander (Co-ordinator of the Digital Humanities Network, CRASSH)
Catherine Seville (Law)
Jennifer Davis (Law)
David Scruton (Fitzwilliam Museum)
John Norman (CARET, University Library)
Paul Jervis Heath (University Library)
Summary of the Project
The rapidly unfolding revolution in digital technologies continues to have profound effects on the major institutions of the creative economy, especially the library, the publishing house, the museum and the institutions and businesses involved in the development of digital technologies. One of the major aims of this project is to link these institutions and utilize the untapped potential in knowledge exchange by creating an active interface for users and producers within the creative economy. Perhaps the most striking of contemporary developments in this new technology is the still growing potential of the mobile phone or tablet application. This innovative technology brings wonderful opportunities and specific problems for the creative economy. This project undertakes three strands of research.
First, it explores the potential in the technology of the mobile phone and tablet application. There are already some apps in use in the museum sector – which do little more than offer a catalogue with some added sound; similarly, publishing houses can advertise their books or even circulate them in this medium, and libraries can provide access to catalogues. There is a huge creative opportunity here to create apps which give much deeper object histories, which link producers of knowledge with archives, which offer multi-medium experiences to enrich the experience within the museum or library. It should be possible to create an app which would link objects in different museums and countries, which link objects with published research or unpublished archives; which offer the experience of researchers or artists in producing material with audiences who have participated in events – and so forth. The creative possibilities are huge, and, with the practical help of those working in the development of apps along with those working with digital humanities in the other areas of the creative economy, the project’s first aim is to develop work which will stimulate, educate and direct future development in this area.
Second, the project will investigate the ‘best practice’ for such technology. There is a strident tension in contemporary cultural life between proponents of the ‘creative commons’, and proponents of regulation. On the one side, the difference between developed and undeveloped countries in access to knowledge is seen to contradict the liberal democratic ideals of exchange and freedom. On the other, the demands of copyright together with the concern for the circulation of illegal or damaging materials requires regulation. How can the political and social aims of the creative commons find any form of accommodation with the wishes of regulators (or the profit motives of business)? The project aims to produce a document in this area which will be of help for all members of the creative economy including regulators, which lays out the issues in a systematic way and stimulates discussion about potential solutions.
Third, and following on from the second, the project intends to research the complex copyright licensing issues associated with the digitisation of museum, library and archive contents and the exploitation of those works. . What are the barriers to the attribution of rights to a multi-media app with material from different countries, institutions and forms of ownership? This will be explored both in a theoretical way, with regard for European law and the potential of regulations, and in a practical way by working with our partner institutions and other museums, libraries and archives as they navigate the licensing issues involved in aggregating digital content from multiple contributors in mobile applications. . We will explore the challenges posed to the process of licensing when the contributors include members of the public and ask if sensible regulations can be established which take account of the demands of copyright and the power of the phone for visual reproduction.