Insegnamento a.a. 2015-2016



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

  • To understand the fundamental changes in the content industries organization and economics caused by the interrelation of: low-cost creation and production infrastructure, digitalization of content supports and platforms convergence, and the sharing culture
  • To understand how this impacts different stakeholders: users, creators, intermediaries, non-profit actors, etc.
  • To grasp the meaning of piracy in the modern legal and user-driven landscape: what is piracy, and what piracy is not? According to whom (users, creators, intermediaries, public agencies, etc.)?
  • To examine the potential of alternative modes of financing for content creation, protection and dissemination, and artist support (e.g., remixing, crowdfunding, sharing, co-creation, free-publicity, etc.)
  • To be able to imagine and discern strategic choices for content management and monetization in the current landscape.

Course Content Summary

Studying the content industries from a managerial perspective normally implies a concern for how economic value is generated, captured and distributed among content creators and brokers (cf. the Production of Culture perspective). However, recent forces such as low-cost production (e.g. music software), digital reproduction (e.g. movie streaming over the internet) and the sharing culture (e.g. the Yuotube phenomenon) rendered the ‘classic’ analytical frameworks such as the value-chain not suitable any more for representing how content is created, circulated and monetized.
From this vantage point, key issues that emerge are:
  • Who are the creators of content and how is this status accorded to?
  • Who are the intermediary actors between creation, consumption, and further (edited) creation? What do they do?
  • How the diffusion of ‘amateur creativity’ changes the nature, behavior and capabilities of professional, business-oriented actors?
  • How is copyright protection granted in the new framework? How are the intellectual protection systems changing?
  • How has the concept of piracy changed? How did the culture of user-generated content change the perception of piracy among different publics (e.g. internet users, creators, intermediaries, public agencies)? What does this imply for business-oriented actors in the content industries?
  • How do users, fans, sponsors and the like contribute to sustain creation activities through different means than copyright streams and sales of (either digital or physical) copies? (E.g., crowdfunding, sharing, co-creation, free-publicity, etc.)

The main purpose of this course is to study such questions across different content industries (that we used to call ‘recorded music’, ‘book publishing’, ‘motion pictures’, etc.) using a threefold framework common to virtually every type of content. The framework is based on the following key processes:
  • Content Dissemination: The aim is to represent the switch from a linear system where ‘control points’ and roles were well-defined and effective, to a complex, circular system where content versions, uses and conditions of appropriation and value capture are manifold and control is shared among a plurality of actors (users included)
  • Content Protection: The aim is to make sense of the crisis of the traditional copyright protection system after the digital revolution, analyzing the reactions to digital piracy and comparing different strategies (e.g., deterrence vs. commercial-oriented strategy)
  • Content Creation: The aim is to investigate the collaborative affordance of new media and digital technology, with its implications in terms of social creation as well as profit- and decision-sharing; issues such as the UGC life-cycle and the changing professional landscape in terms of roles, career prospects, etc.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For students attending the course, the exam will consist of:
  • 2 written exams (midterm and final), based on an open book exam with 2-3 open-ended questions  (50% of the grade)
  • A project work to be developed in groups, to be presented in two occasions: midterm and final (the remaining 50% of the grade). 
  • The final grade will result from the average (not the sum) of the individual grades of the written exams and the collective grade of the project group. The faculty might add up to 3 points for active class participation.
For students not attending
the course, the exam will consist on a written test, based on a selection of mandatory texts and readings, accounting for 100% of the total grade. The exam will be based on open-ended questions. It will not be possible to refer to the mandatory texts and other readings during the exam.

Attending students have to attend at least 75% of classes in each of the two periods (before and after mid-term).
Students have to decide whether they will be attending or non-attending within the firsts 5 classes. Quitting the group project work will determine a penalty in the final assessment, even if the students eventually opt to be non-attending.

Project work (attending students)
Attending students will work in groups in order to develop a project to be carried on along the whole course. Ideally, the projects will be monitoring the creation, protection and dissemination of one or more content(s) across different platforms. However, students may propose their own ideas for a project pertinent to the course topics. Guest speakers and other actors (e.g. firm representatives, bloggers, fans, etc.) may be involved in the stages of idea generation and/or implementation.
The expected deliverables are a short document (up to 10 pages) and a presentation (PowerPoint, Pretzi etc.). Groups will be assisted and tutored along the project development, and they are expected to present the project idea, preliminary findings, and to-dos (midterm) and final results (in the last session of the course). The best projects may be presented (along with those prepared for other courses/workshops) during special sessions open to students and faculty from outside the course.


For Attending students:
  • Materials made available on Bocconi e-learning.
For Non-attending students:
  • R .DeFilippi, P. Wikström, (eds.)  International Perspectives on Business Innovation and Disruption in the Creative Industries (Part II: Co-creation, Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing). Edward Elgar. 2014
  • Edwards, The Role and Responsibility of Internet Intermediaries in the Field of Copyright and Related Rights. WIPO Report. 2011
  • User-Generated Platform, in Working within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property, in Dreyfuss et al (eds).
  • E.K. Ericsson, 2011. 2009. The Recorded Music Industry and the Emergence of Online Music Distribution: Innovation in the Absence of Copyright (Reform), Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law Research Paper No. 11-09.
  • H.Jenkins, S. Ford,J. Green,2013. Spreadable Media. Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York University Press.

Texts and articles may change. Updates will be communicated in due course on the course website.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Students are required to show a strong interest towards content creation and circulation processes (online and offline; for profit and not-for-profit) and a basic knowledge of the main social media platforms (e.g., Youtube, Vevo, etc.).
Last change 30/06/2015 09:51