Improving Deliberation, Improving Copyright

The overall aim of this project is to co-produce a consultation model based on reflection and understanding between all groups affected by copyright policy – thereby contributing to more effective and sustainable media policy outcomes

This project aimed to develop a new model for copyright consultation processes by collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders in the copyright policy debate in order develop new ideas about how consultations might be structured and implemented.  It focused on how copyright is understood, communicated, and debated by different stakeholders including policymakers, industry, and members of the public.  In particular, the project addressed structural issues that have been shown to limit consultation effectiveness and legitimacy.  The overall aim was to co-produce a consultation model based on reflection and understanding between all groups affected by copyright policy – thereby contributing to more effective and sustainable media policy outcomes.

The project was undertaken at a time characterized by particularly extensive debate about copyright policy, and when new legal interventions, such as the European Copyright Directive of 2019, were shaping policy decisions.  In this complex political-economic landscape, we undertook a detailed examination of the opportunities and barriers challenging multiple stakeholder groups faced with applying copyright policy to practice. Our deliberative approach included in-depth individual dialogues, a multi-stakeholder workshop, and a follow-on training event to explore how the model works in practice. 

Please contact us here for further information, or visit the project website to find out more about our initial findings.

Research Focus

The project objectives are:

1. To engage in dialogue with stakeholders about their experiences of copyright policy consultations and combine these insights with the findings of previous academic research;

2. To co-produce, with stakeholders, a new deliberative model of consultation for copyright policy that is robust, sustainable, and satisfies the key principles of inclusion, deliberation, transparency, and accountability;

3. To share the model with the UK Intellectual Property Office as a tool for consultations about consultations about copyright;

4. To explore with Ofcom the possibilities of using the model for consultations about other areas of media policy;

5. To distribute the project outputs to relevant international policymaking communities via the stakeholder and project team’s networks.

Outputs and Events

  • Presentation of findings and creation of workshop programme – consolidation of initial themes derived from dialogues and previous research for designing an improved consultation process - November 2019. You can find out more about the initial findings from the dialogues here.
  • One Day Workshop leading to co-production of draft consultation model (17 January 2020).
  • Outcomes and Recommendations (also available via project website) (May 2020).
  • Policy Consultation Design and Evaluation Toolkit (also available via project website) (May 2020). 
  • Policymakers’ & Consultation Leaders’ Training Event – application of model to explore how it would change current practice (Summer 2020).


Dr. Lee Edwards, Associate Professor

Principle Investigator (LSE)

Relevant interests and Expertise:  Copyright and the public voice; copyright discourses; strategic communication and its contribution to deliberative democracy and democratic life.

Dr. Giles Moss

Co-Investigator (University of Leeds)

Relevant interests and Expertise:  Digital media, democracy, and citizenship; media and communications policy; public engagement and deliberation in media policymaking and governance.

Dr. Lynne Nikolychuk

Research Officer (LSE)

Relevant interests and Expertise:  Emerging business model and organising practices in relation to digital technology developments in the media and cultural industries, media policy.


The three main collaborators are: OFCOM (Office of Communications), IPO (UK Intellectual Property Office), and CREATe (the UK Copyright and Creative Economy Centre).  We are also actively supported by other stakeholder organisations from a range of sectors with a significant interest in the way that copyright law and policy operate.

Academic Advisors

Professor Bethany Klein, University of Leeds

Dr. Kris Erickson, University of Leeds


This research is funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Council), grant reference AH/S007075/1