The (high) rise of creativity

Throughout our economic history, new types of resources, new technologies and new ways of organizing the market have necessitated reconsidering the functioning of intellectual property rights. History is littered with examples, from the Medici decrees which granted temporary monopolies to the creators of machines and devices, to disputes such as at the Parisian café “Les Ambassadeurs”, where in 1847 a composer and a poet fought with musicians who had performed their work without their consent. Thus, society has continually had to update its laws to protect its artists, innovators and creators.

Today, we are at a new stage of economic development, where intangible digital assets used to create value are impacting the cost of real goods across the economy. As in 1847, we are once again compelled to think seriously about how to organize and build the relationships between creators, rightsholders and society, for the common good but not to the detriment of the creative elite. The reason for this is the archetypes, proven in practice over several generations. Globally, the rules of the game have changed faster than intellectual property institutions have been able to keep up. We are now in a “knowledge economy” where the key assets are neither raw materials nor production capacities, but rather the knowledge, talents and creative capacities of people who do not have the legal, organizational and technologies needed to protect their rights.

However, this new knowledge economy is no longer an isolated thing; he appears in many theories including Richard Florida’s ‘creative class’, Nick Srnicek’s ‘platform capitalism’, Daniel Bell’s ‘post-industrial society’ and John Hawkins’ ‘creative ecology’ all recognize it as a totally new economic system. Each of the aforementioned authors rightly points out that as society develops, production shifts more and more from the material sphere to the immaterial sphere, and creativity gradually becomes a key resource.

At the same time, essential differences between the concepts of “art” and “creativity” begin to be formulated. Art is essentially about creating beauty while creativity involves the creation of products and tools for survival or, in other words, development. The two main aspects that have an influence on the high demand for creativity are the formation of an innovative economy and the development of what is called a “knowledge society”. It is the one in which the market requires a person to be able to find original solutions to succeed. Almost everyone is experiencing serious and profound lifestyle changes today compared to just 10 years ago.

The changes taking place in the world around us translate into real changes in the psychological and physical state of people and require more adaptability and flexibility. Creativity has therefore become the only strategy that will allow a person to cope in the modern world and remain themselves, at the same time.

Measuring talent and creativity

Unfortunately, neither art, nor talent, nor creativity can be measured with precision. However, it is possible to measure their economic manifestations by examining the degree of development of individual industries and national economies. In the new culture of the digital world and the knowledge society whose foundation is the speed and volume of communications, the institution of intellectual property rights has not been renewed

The current management of intellectual rights is mainly predetermined by the formation of industrialization and the formation of the resulting mediation. Nowadays, most perceive intellectual property as analogous to real material property, and the management and protection of rights is mostly implemented by lawyers, patent offices and civil servants. For artists, creators, creative entrepreneurs and investors, the value and effectiveness of institutions is not at all obvious.

The very root of the relationship between key players in the global IP market and the cross-border consumer system has changed dramatically. Companies like Uber or iTunes are shaping new skills, work standards and business practices and, unfortunately, anything that doesn’t have time to evolve will be kicked out.

So many digitally immersed industries feel a lack of control over what happens to their content. A good example is music. Previously, the circulation of a music disc required and offered certain levels of control, including royalties and sales volumes; in today’s digital marketplace, content often becomes freely available to millions of people around the world. The artist’s work then begins to live its own life without the involvement or control of the author or copyright holder.

Blockchain and intellectual property

However, a new market is forming that provides real results of intellectual activity in various digital industries. Customs and business norms are reconfigured to restore the effectiveness of intellectual property, while ensuring transparency and controllability of the use of the asset in order to exercise, protect and guarantee their rights in the creation, the use and distribution of creative products.

Blockchain technology has shown impressive efficiency in circulating intellectual property and building a systemic infrastructure solution for what could be a transparent and trusted intellectual property marketplace. Its advantage is the traceability of the movement of rights and online actions of each market player, including the actions of legal persons under public law, which are traceable, accessible, visible and open to all.

Blockchain ledgers open up new opportunities for the development of legal/technological solutions, such as exchanges that enable direct transactions between genuine copyright owners and end consumers. Blockchain technology provides escrow services for proof of authorship and with the ability to control unauthorized borrowing, copying or distribution of electronic items. Properly designed and implemented digital services serve to prevent accidental and/or intentional infringement of rights, from music and literature to design, fashion and software, and for the types of businesses where intellectual property should be valued and protected.

Properly configured and applied digital services also reduce costs, making it easier for authors and copyright holders to monetize products and ensure the quick and convenient transfer and transition of creative products with related industries. , while maintaining appropriate levels of legal protection and ensuring fairness that is a substantial incentive for creators.

Thus, the gains for everyone involved in the process are obvious: the state reduces the cost of maintaining and making available the civil servants involved in the provision of services in the field of intellectual property; legal norms that are difficult to collect and quantify are replaced by automatic procedures which, if necessary, are undertaken with the participation of public law figures and, finally, a legal and transparent sector of the economy is formed, with a tax base growing.

From the mechanisms and instruments mentioned above, all actors in the artistic and creative industries derive enormous benefits, foremost among which are secure mechanisms to guarantee their rights which do not require special legal knowledge, and a means of rapid growth of audience of potential buyers. For countries that do not have excess resources to build and implement a strong intellectual property protection system, this may be the only opportunity to move to a new economic order and not get stuck in the degrading orbit. of the economy of the last century. Digital technologies are rapidly becoming the “cement” of new social contracts and a new model of governance of relations between creators, entrepreneurs and state actors.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Further reading

The challenges of Data, IA, Cloud, Blockchain, IoT and Cybersecurity convergence

Blockchain: a strong link to rebuild confidence in tomorrow’s agriculture?

Interview with Laurent Alexandre


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