Research project Page last updated 23.2.2024

WIPO Guidelines on Assessing the Economic, Social and Cultural Impact of Copyright (ESCIA)

  • Duration of the project: 2014 — 2016
  • Publications : 1

The Economic, Social and Cultural Impact Assessment (or ESCIA) Guidelines, developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), aim at assessing the impacts of copyright-related regulatory and policy decisions.

The ESCIA methodology is outlined in the publication Draft Guidelines on Assessing the Economic, Social and Cultural Impact of Copyright on the Creative Economy, available online on the website of WIPO.

Finland was the first country to test the application of the ESCIA methodology, following a proposal by the Secretariat of WIPO. The pilot project was conducted in cooperation between Cupore and the Finnish Copyright Society.

The pilot study was based on a set of alternative policy scenarios with the purpose of clarifying questions concerning the use of copyright-protected material in non-commercial scientific research. The goal of the pilot study was to evaluate the impacts of the alternative policy scenarios from the perspective of researchers and research institutes, as well as from the perspective of right holders.

A limited-scale pre-pilot study was carried out in autumn 2014 with a focus on the present situation. Group discussions were organized with experts representing the interests of either copyright holders or researchers. The topics of the group discussions included
–          problems related to the use of copyrighted material for research purposes,
–          knowledge on copyright issues among researchers,
–          the functioning of the copyright system from the perspective of scientific research, as well as
–          other issues affecting the use of copyrighted material for research purposes (concerning e.g. licensing).
The second phase of the project was conducted in 2015. Its main goal was to analyze the impacts of maintaining the current situation as compared to those of other policy scenarios. Separate group discussions were organized with representatives of the interests of researchers and copyright holders. The policy scenarios under scrutiny were a) the introduction of a new limitation to copyright, and b) the introduction of a specific soft law instrument such as a consensus document.
The ESCIA pilot project is closely connected to the project on assessing the operation of copyright and related rights systems, but instead of assessing the operation of the current copyright system and its specific elements, the goal of the ESCIA project was to study the impacts of specific policy and legislative measures.


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