Anglia Ruskin Professor receives China funding

Published: 16 November 2015 at 14:12

Digital code

Law School academic will research fair use of copyright in the digital domain

Professor Rohan Kariyawasam of Anglia Ruskin University has been awarded almost £100,000 to carry out research into the fair use of copyright in the digital domain.

The application was made to the AHRC Centre for Digital Copyright and IP Research in China and the £96,695 funding comes from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (Newton Fund), the Ningbo Bureau of Science and Technology, and the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. 

The research is one of five UK-China projects announced by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for IP (Intellectual Property).  Professor Kariyawasam of Anglia Law School, is the first member of Anglia Ruskin to receive AHRC Newton funding.  

Professor Kariyawasam will be collaborating with the Cultures of the Digital Economy (CoDE) research institute at Anglia Ruskin, and with Peking University Law School and Xi’an Jiaotong University Law School, two of China’s leading law schools.  
Fair use of copyright in the digital domain focuses on the extent to which the likes of researchers, students and news journalists can benefit from exceptions under copyright law to use content without permission from rights holders.  Exceptions are generally used to comment on, criticise or parody copyrighted work. 
Professor Kariyawasam said: 

“Fair use encourages innovation, creativity, dissemination, more accurate and comprehensive news reporting, and research and development.  Without an effective and balanced IP policy on fair use, societies keen on growing a knowledge economy will stagnate. 

“Equally a too open policy on fair use will not provide an environment where rights owners are rewarded for their investment in time and effort in creating original works.” 

Tom Duke, senior IP officer in the British Embassy in Beijing and chair of the AHRC Centre’s advisory board, said: 

“Effective IP systems support the creative industries that are so important to both the UK and China.”

Professor Kariyawasam’s project will compare fair use provisions in Chinese domestic law along with a number of other countries, and also look at provisions in some international trade agreements where China is prominent.  

This research is coming at a significant time when China is the process of revising its own copyright law.  Professor Kariyawasam will spend time completing field research in China, talking with end-users, content producers and regulators.