A report was published in early October by the London School of Economics on the topic of online sharing and its effects on the creative industry. This report analyses the impact of online sharing on the creative industry. It found that this industry wasn’t harmed, it was only encouraged to evolve and adapt.
The London School of Economics’ (LSE) report proves internet and online sharing doesn’t negatively impact the creative industry.
The creative industry has clearly evolved and taken advantage of the digital economy by instating “new business models […] enabling the industry to gain advantage by building on a digital culture based on sharing and co-creating” as states the LSE report.
A few years back, the creative industry claimed it was suffering great losses caused by the rise of online sharing and copyright infringement. Despite a slow start, this industry was able to take advantage of this new digital society and has developed a rapidly growing online market.
The need for evolution has also affected artists. Many of them no longer rely on recorded music sales, they prefer to offer free access to their work and count on live shows to compensate the revenue losses. A report was published by the LSE in 2011 on the topic of “Creative Destruction and Copyright Protection: Regulatory Responses to File-Sharing”. According to this report, revenues resulting from live performances and DJing have strongly increased during the past years. “In 2009 revenues from live music outperformed recorded music sales for the first time in the UK. While the recorded music industry was worth £1.36 billion, the value of the live music industry in 2009 was estimated at £1.54 billion.” The LSE’s September 2013 report notes that there is a shift in revenue distribution, from the sales of recorded music to that of live performances. “This suggests that had the music industry started to adapt to the digital environment earlier, rather than trying to fit the new digital culture into their old business model, the record companies could have witnessed growth much earlier.”
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry supports this theory and backs it up in its own reports, edited each year. The music industry wasn’t the only one to benefit from the digital economy’s rise. The gaming industry has evolved quickly and successfully, now working in collaboration with the internet community to create products fitting their needs and wishes. As for the publishing industry, much like the music industry, the revenues for the physical products have decreased but the digital products’ sales have increased, mainly thanks to ebooks.
Creativity isn’t dying !
Through crowdfunding, creativity can reach its peak. Artists no longer have to rely on what the industry believes will be successful; they can directly ask the targeted audience. Crowdfunding is generating more and more revenues, therefore encouraging artists to create. The internet community is empowered by the ability to decide who will succeed.
To help protect the artists’ rights, the Creative Commons Licences were created. They make it easier to define the rights attached to the artists’ work, therefore helping the copyrights to be respected. Also, free access to creative works results in free publicity for the artist. If people appreciate the artist’s work, they will be more inclined to buy their album or go to a live performance. Today, many artists create for pleasure and enjoy sharing freely their work. The artist Gramatik for example is for digital freedom, therefore encouraging his fans to share his music. Artists tend to appreciate good quality remixes or covers, also creating free publicity. However, the artist’s paternity right is sacred and mustn’t be infringed.
Sanctions for copyright infringement lack the repercussions and the consequences expected by the creative industry. An evolution was necessary to prevent this industry from sinking. The development of legal offers for streaming or downloading has facilitated the access to high quality and affordable products for internet users. However, no changes have been noticed regarding illegal online sharing. Internet users are leaning towards a dual use of legal and illegal offers, partly safeguarding the creative industry. However, there is still a lot of work to be done for legal offers regarding the film industry.