The Interactive Entertainment Industry and Successive Creativity: Remastering Copyright for Video Games and Successive Works
Summary of Research
The Interactive Entertainment ecosystem offers one of the best paradigms of a decentralised ‘successive creativity’ model within which users widely create and share video game-related cultural works, or ‘successive works’, on various online media platforms. The popularity and proliferation of successive creators has helped shatter the conventional vertical hierarchy between video game developers and users, instigating a horizontal ecosystem. This evolution has enabled greater cultural participation and ensures the constant flow of works in the public domain.
The main hypothesis of the thesis is that copyright in the United States and the European Union has refused to accurately reflect this evolution. Both legal frameworks seem to be maintained and expanded based on outdated and misleading conceptions of video games and users. The apparent dissonance between reality and the legal framework may be distorting the optimality of copyright and can have wider negative consequences on the sustainability of successive creativity. Such oversight can impinge upon the rights of successive creators, diminish the freedom of expression and prevent the public from partaking in culture. It is proposed that narrowing down copyright’s scope and rebalancing the relationship between the various stakeholders, a more inclusive, accurate and congruent framework will be established that will nurture successive creativity, further copyright’s goal and unlock a pathway for successive creators to acquire protection for their works.
Alexandros Alexandrou is a PhD Candidate at Queen Mary University of London in the field of Intellectual Property Law. Alexandros graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Laws LLB Hons from Lancaster University, obtained an LLM degree in Intellectual Property Law with Distinction from the University of Leeds in 2017 and took part in the Pan-European Seal Traineeship at the European Union Intellectual Property Office in 2018. His research interests include User Generated Content, Successive Works and the general impact of Copyright within the Interactive Entertainment Industry.