Creators and Copyright: Voices from the field

Dr Smita Kheria, School of Law, University of Edinburgh

Tuesday 21 November

12.00 - 2.00pm, Room 1.21, Paterson's Land, Moray House School of Education

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Copyright, as a key issue that concerns both the creative industries and 
individual creative practitioners alike, has increasingly been subjected 
to public debate. The transition from analogue to digital media has been 
both promising and problematic. On the one hand, there are new 
opportunities for the production, dissemination, and consumption of 
creative output which creators may be unable to utilize, because of the 
barriers posed by copyright restrictions. On the other, successful 
exploitation of copyright faces challenges and has led to concerns about 
the ability of creators to earn a living and sustain their creative 

In this context, it is then useful to ask: what is the role of copyright 
in the day to day practice of creative practitioners, and how is it 
changing? Does copyright matter to creators today? Is it relevant to 
their everyday lives and valuable to them?

With an emphasis on artists’ relationship with copyright, this talk will 
present thematic findings from new empirical research with creative 
practitioners. In particular, it will focus on three themes: a) the role 
of copyright as a source of revenue (the ability to exploit rights for 
monetary return) in creative lives b) the importance of protection for 
personal non-monetary interests and the possible role played by 
copyright in protecting reputational concerns and, c) the complexity of 
creators’ relationships with copyright.

Smita is a Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law in Edinburgh Law 
School. She combines legal expertise in copyright and related rights 
with socio-legal research on the role of intellectual property law in 
the real world. She has been involved in several research projects that 
have examined how copyright intersects with the everyday lives and 
creative practices of digital artists, online creative communities, arts 
and humanities researchers, and professional creators and performers.


Date of Event
Event Leader
Dr Smita Kheria
1.21 Paterson's Land
Research Area
Digital Cultures