A new research centre at Glasgow university will examine "the changing nature of copyright and the need for new business models in the digital age" to shape policy in the area.
The Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology (CREATe), launched today (31st January), has a £5m investment from UK research councils over four years plus a further £1.7m commitment from the university.
Forty projects involving researchers from seven UK universities will look at the intersections between culture, the economy and technology, and "offer policymakers invaluable analyses for developing new regulatory frameworks", according to the Arts and Humanities Research Council, a primary funder.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment Relations Jo Swinson MP said: "To maintain the success of the UK's world class creative industries, policy makers need to understand the issues the sector faces.
CREATe will bring together academic, government and industry to build a robust evidence base. This will shape policy and ultimately help our creative industries compete in the global market."
CREATe director Professor Martin Kretschmer said: "The vast expansion of access to digital technology in recent years has created tremendous opportunities for the UK creative sector, which generates about £60bn each year, of 6% of the UK economy. As the sector increasingly moves towards digital content, copyright issue are becoming more important than ever.
Studies have shown that between 60% and 70% of young people illegally download music, moies or TV shows, but often those who download most are also the best customers. Producers are being forced to rethink their ways of doing business."
Author Charlie Stross, publisher Frances Pinter, Google UK's policy manager Theo Bertram and Tony Clayton of the UK Intellectual Property Office will be among those taking part in a one-day conference in Glasgow tomorrow (1st February), looking at case studies of the transition from analogue to digital.
Live coverage of tonight's launch event (17.15 and 18.30 hours) can be accessed on http://www.create.ac.uk/launch/stream