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Copyright Contracts and Earnings of Visual Creators: A Survey of 5,800 British Designers, Fine Artists, Illustrators and Photographers

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsMonograph

Publication date2011
Place of PublicationBournemouth
PublisherCIPPM (Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management)
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There is a common perception that digitisation has prompted changes in creative labour markets. In particular, it is widely assumed that exploiters insist on "grabbing rights" (i.e. broadly conceived assignments of rights), that visual artists are not able to negotiate, that they are paid less and less, and that they are compelled to waive their moral rights. This study suggests a much more equivocal picture. In place of a straightforward narrative of decline, the results of the survey suggest that in most fields there has been less change over the last decade than one might have expected: that, terms of exploitation are most often about the same. That is not to say that there are no discernible changes in particular occupations and media. Respondents and interviewees identify some important shifts. Perhaps surprisingly, it seems there are changes in practice that are, from the creator's perspective, both positive and negative. The most positive change is identified amongst the fine artists where half (50 see their personal bargaining position as having improved, with only 649 say their bargaining position has worsened, with only 2240 report an increase in assignments (compared with 6. Moreover, 24compared to 3, and a decline in the practice of attribution. 31 and only 88 while only 16% say it has decreased.