Can Creative Firms Thrive Without Copyright? Value Generation and Capture from Private-Collective Innovation

23 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

Date Written: March 23, 2018

Abstract

Accounts of the ‘copyright industries’ suggest that strong intellectual property rights help creative firms. However, mounting evidence from sectors such as video game production and 3D printing indicate that business models based on open IP can also be profitable. This study investigates the relationship between IP protection and value capture for creative industry firms engaged in collective/open innovation activities. A sample of 22 businesses interviewed in this study did not require exclusive ownership of creative materials, instead employing a range of strategies to compete and capture value. Benefits for some firms resemble those for participants in private-collective innovation (PCI), originally observed in open source software development (von Hippel, von Krogh, 2003). Advantages of PCI include the ability to commercialize user improvements and a reduction in transaction costs related to seeking and obtaining permission to innovate upon existing ideas. Some creative firms in this study were able to generate and capture value from PCI in two directions, upstream and downstream. These dynamics offer a mechanism to understand and articulate the value of openness for creative industries policy and management of creative organizations.

Keywords: Private-Collective Innovation, Copyright, Open Licensing, Creative Commons, Public Domain, Intellectual Property, Creative Industries

JEL Classification: K11, M13, M31, Z11

Suggested Citation

Erickson, Kristofer, Can Creative Firms Thrive Without Copyright? Value Generation and Capture from Private-Collective Innovation (March 23, 2018). Business Horizons, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3169849

Kristofer Erickson (Contact Author)

University of Leeds ( email )

School of Media and Communication
Leeds, Yorkshire LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

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