Stationers and UCL in joint copyright research initiative for communications and content industries
The Stationers’ Company has established a three-year post-graduate research studentship at University College London (UCL) to study the research-based commercial and economic case for copyright following an extensive recruitment and interview process conducted by UCL during the second half of last year.
Aislinn O’Connell, who has a Master’s degree in international business law and a degree in law and French, started on the project this week and aims to work closely with the UK copyright community to understand economic and commercial evidence and to examine the policy and legal arguments the creative industries have put forward to government during recent copyright reviews.
The studentship is being made possible through a bursary provided by the Stationers’ Foundation, the Company’s educational charity, and with support from organisations including Publishers Licensing Society, Copyright Licensing Agency, the Newspaper Licensing Agency, Pearson and Euromonitor.
The research post has been created by Professor Iain Stevenson, the UCL Publishing Centre’s Director of Teaching, who led the establishment of the MA in Publishing four years ago and will supervise the post with Professor Sir Robin Jacob, the first Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property (IP) Law at UCL. Sir Robin practised at the Intellectual Property Bar from 1967, was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1981 and served as a High Court Judge (Chancery Division) from 1993 to 2003. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in October 2003, and is currently in charge of the Court of Appeal’s Intellectual Property List.
Trevor Fenwick, managing director of Euromonitor, who conceived the post and leads the Stationers’ Copyright Group, said: “Whenever we submit arguments that the 300 year old right to intellectual property which is copyright still underpins the future of all the creative industries we are asked ‘where’s your evidence’? The appointment of a three-year research post at UCL is intended to address this, particularly from a publishing perspective, and in Aislinn we feel we have someone who is highly qualified and suited to do this.”
Professor Stevenson said: “’We are delighted to welcome Aislinn to our research team at the Centre for Publishing here at UCL. We have a long-standing commitment to producing research that engages with current issues for our industry and copyright and its future is central to those concerns. Through our Digital Publishing Forum and other events we communicate our findings directly to those who need to be aware of how the field is changing. Aislinn is going to be a key figure in explaining why and how copyright remains important in the digital world.”
Aislinn said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to this post. While it seems daunting at the moment, I’m sure it will provide an engaging and tremendously rewarding challenge over the next three years and I am truly grateful to have been given this opportunity.”