EUIPO study: public domains – film industry focus

01.06.2017
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New digital technologies and business models not only create new economic opportunities for firms but also possibilities to enhance the general public benefits associated with better access to knowledge and cultural goods.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights published the results of an EU-wide study on usage of the pre-existing creative content for new derivative projects. This is one of the first studies in this field.

The objective of the research is to document the way previous creative content, both still under the copyright protection and already in the public domain, is being used by film producers for new creative projects in this sector.

The main findings of the study are:

 •public domain content can be an attractive base material for film adaptations. Between 2000 and 2010 it attracted over 330 million viewers to the European cinemas (4% of overall audience);

•public domain content is being adapted by a wide range of film producers and there are examples of high budget successful film productions based on public domain content;

•potential attractiveness of public domain content as a base for adaptation is weakened by the general rapid decline of the economic value of creative content with time.