2016 Fostering markets for digital copyright works with libraries: the case of indie games

This is a draft paper to be presented at the 2015 annual congress of the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues will be held in Glasgow (Scotland), on September 4th, 2015. It is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation as well as support from Concordia University in Montréal.

More information about the indie games licensing for libraries project is available in English on my blog Outfind.ca.

De plus amples renseignements sur le projet de licence de jeu vidéo en bibliothèque sont également disponibles en français sur mon blogue Culturelibre.ca.

(Proposed abstract) Libraries have a special role in copyright: many jurisdictions confer upon them exceptions as well as structuring roles. These have been the source of much debate in the past years. But the role(s) of libraries in fostering markets of digital copyrighted works is not clearly understood. Drawing from Intstitutional Economics (Coase) as well as internormativity contract theory (Belley), this paper will present the case of digital games licensing for libraries. Through a grant from the US-based Knight Foundation, our team of researchers at Concordia University (Canada) is devising a licensing schema as well as technological solutions to allow for a market to emerge between independent digital games studios and libraries worldwide. We hope to present the preliminary findings of our study of developers’ economic needs and the requirements of libraries with regards to licensing.

Authors: Olivier Charbonneau (University of Montreal and Concordia University), Sydney Warshaw (McGill University) and Will Robinson (Concordia University)

– Outline –

(The main objective of this project is to articulate the role of libraries in markets of digital copyrighted works by using economic analysis of law… a some sociology)

Preliminary remarks: games?!? in libraries??!!??
(Killscreen article)
– Dealing with libraries (ancient & eternal; a networked agency that doesn’t exist; the taylorist setting / no love)
– What about indie games (the big guys are « AAA »; indies are smaller; and the tinkerers), talk about copyright in games.
(Whitson, Jennifer R., Simon, Bart, and Della Rocca, Jason (under review). “From Risk-Aversion to Failing Fast: Bio-diversity and Darwinism in Montreal’s Game Development Ecosystem”. Communication & Strategies.)
– How digital is different (but not that much really) and where are the markets for digital copyrighted content

Operational framework & methodology: Stakeholder analysis with a focus on law & economics
– Coase, libraries and law: externalities & costs when libraries engage in markets (legal deposit, public lending right, exceptions to copyright, collective licensing…)
– Belley’s Contractual internormativity: What do indies want? A licensing contract (market) or cultural recognition (fixing externalities)

Curious library economics
– Focus on games with high worth but where the rightsholders have already maximized the value (the game after market as library licensing budgets can’t compete with household spending)
– How big is the library market anyway?
– licensing or curating: Can indies consider library work as investment? Can we represent the « lifecycle » of a game (or any digital copyrighted work) in a contract?

Mis à jour le 10 juin 2016 à 10 h 54 min.