Creatively Misinformed: Mining Social Media to Capture Internet Creators and Users’ Misunderstanding of Intellectual Property Registration System

Xiaoren Wang, Paul Heald, Weihao Ge

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Intellectual property (IP) law is complicated, but engaging formal legal help is costly. The internet, therefore, becomes a major source of cheap regulatory information for the creative industries. In the absence of formal counsel, media outlets like Twitter and Reddit have become important sources of information about the law and important sources of misinformation. For example, law firm posts suggest that misconceptions about the need for and benefits of copyright, patent, and trademark registration abound. Misconceptions about the copyright registration system may contribute to the proliferation on-line scams targeting new authors. The failure to understand the patent registration system may result in the loss of protection for an invention. Businesses that misunderstand the scope of trademark registration may make overly risk averse or risk preferential branding choices.
Although Creatively Misinformed focuses on the UK creative industries, we will mine posts on Twitter and Reddit for common misconceptions of both the UK and EU systems. After all, UK inventors and brands consider the EU to be a key market, and UK creators of copyrighted works (especially musicians and artists) dream of selling in the EU.
After extensively mining data from Reddit and Twitter, we expect to find a gap between the objectives of the IP registration system and how it is understood “on the ground.” We hypothesize that the gap is partially due to the public misconceptions on the registration system. Without a more precise picture of IP misconceptions, regulators cannot easily respond. We hope to inform regulators and advise them how to reduce the most troublesome of IP misconceptions. Ultimately, our research could be used to improve the quality of media campaigns and public strategies. Finally, we hope our date will help IP scholars increase the relevance of their interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023
EventIP Researchers Europe Conference 2023 (IPRE 2023) - University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 29 Jun 202330 Jun 2023
http://IP Researchers Europe Conference 2023 (IPRE 2023)


ConferenceIP Researchers Europe Conference 2023 (IPRE 2023)
Internet address


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