bloc // March 10, 2005

Intellectual Property and the Creative Technology Sector, Blaenau Gwent ⁄⁄

Date: Wednesday 2nd November 2005
Time: 5pm to 7.45pm
Venue:VITCC (Valleys Information Technology and Communication Centre)
Partner: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council |
Partner: Welsh Development Agency |

This seminar will examine the ways in which IP (Intellectual Property) impacts on the creative technology sector. The seminar will address the commercial implications and opportunities for the exploitation of IP, along with other approaches including open source and ‘copyleft’.


Computer technology has altered the processes by which creative practitioners make work, even if the final work itself does not involve technology. With the climate of growth of entrepreneurship in the creative industries in Wales there is great emphasis on the commercialisation of ideas. Micro businesses and SMEs are harnessing the competitive benefits of using new media and, consequently, issues surrounding intellectual property are becoming more important. Further, with the growing potential of computer technology comes the ease and means with which information can be pirated. For creative practitioners, this can work both ways. Some creative practitioners have had their ideas ‘borrowed’ by, for example, advertising agencies whilst other practitioners have borrowed their ideas from established film-makers or illustrators.

Government agencies in Wales are providing conditions for the creative technology sector to flourish by working providing funds for the commercial exploitation of ideas. This input is driven by the idea that wealth from the creative industry sector will come from intellectual property rights (IPR). Yet, in order to raise the potential for future funds practitioners often need to know how to recognise a good idea, protect the idea and then how to sell the good idea.

Contrary to a commercial approach are ways of thinking outside of the legal regime of IPR. Movements have developed which borrow from open source principles such as Creative Commons (, a service which offers licensed content available to anyone for copying or creative re-use. Known as copyleft – as opposed to copyright – such services also use copyright law but with the difference that the law protects freedom of use. Inverting the equation ‘protection = profit’, many companies save costs by developing open source software rather than providing software with more restrictive licenses.

This event brings together professionals from business support in Wales, legal advisors for the creative industries and experts in information politics and practitioners who will discuss ways in which IP impacts on the creative technology sector.

The seminar event aims to provide a forum for the cross discipline exchange of ideas between creative practitioners, technology developers and support agencies with the aim of advancing understanding, collaboration and partnership and knowledge economy across the creative technology sector in Wales. The event will be of relevance to people working in the arts, design, business support, education, networking, technology, science, research, and engineering.


Richard Turner | Wales Development Manager, NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts)
Lubna Azhar | Legal and business consultant and artist
Dr Jamie King | Lecturer in New Media and ex-editor of MUTE
Fiddian Warman and Jonathon Jones Morris | Managing Director, SODA and Director of Welsh Office, SODA, Port Maddoc


Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts)

The Southern Bloc seminar programme is supported by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

Area: southern bloc