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Versioning of information goods under the threat of piracy

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  • Cho, Won-Young
  • Ahn, Byong-Hun
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    Abstract

    The present study investigates the effects of piracy on the quality decisions of a firm that produces two versions of an information good: that is, one version for a consumer with a high willingness to pay and a second version for a consumer with a low willingness to pay. On the assumption that there is no quality difference between the original and the illegal copy and that the cost of the copy is constant across users, we show that the presence of piracy induces the firm to choose a lower level of quality of the former and a higher level of quality of the latter relative to decisions made in the absence of piracy. We also discuss policy implications concerning the socially optimal level of copyright protection.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 332-340

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:22:y:2010:i:4:p:332-340

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

    Related research

    Keywords: Copyright protection Piracy Versioning Vertical differentiation Information goods;

    References

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    1. Ram D. Gopal & G. Lawrence Sanders, 2006. "Do Artists Benefit from Online Music Sharing?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1503-1534, May.
    2. Yoon, Kiho, 2002. "The optimal level of copyright protection," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 327-348, September.
    3. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006. "Piracy Prevention and the Pricing of Information Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 5556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Peitz, Martin & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2006. "Piracy of digital products: A critical review of the theoretical literature," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 449-476, November.
    5. Liebowitz, S J, 1985. "Copying and Indirect Appropriability: Photocopying of Journals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 945-57, October.
    6. Takeyama, Lisa N, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Unauthorized Reproduction of Intellectual Property in the Presence of Demand Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 155-66, June.
    7. SHY, Oz & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "A strategic approach to software protection," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1413, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    8. Besen, Stanley M & Kirby, Sheila Nataraj, 1989. "Private Copying, Appropriability, and Optimal Copying Royalties," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 255-80, October.
    9. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    10. King, Stephen P. & Lampe, Ryan, 2003. "Network externalities, price discrimination and profitable piracy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 271-290, September.
    11. Bakos, Yannis & Brynjolfsson, Erik & Lichtman, Douglas, 1999. "Shared Information Goods," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 117-55, April.
    12. Bae, Sang Hoo & Choi, Jay Pil, 2006. "A model of piracy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 303-320, September.
    13. M. Alvisi & E. Argentesi & E. Carbonara, 2002. "Piracy and Quality Choice in Monopolistic Markets," Working Papers 436, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    14. Novos, Ian E & Waldman, Michael, 1984. "The Effects of Increased Copyright Protection: An Analytic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 236-46, April.
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