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The Economics of Copyright

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  • Ray Corrigan
  • Mark Rogers

Abstract

The copyright industries—such as music, film, software and publishing—occupy a significant and growing share of economic activity. Current copyright law protects the creator for up to 70 years after their death, significantly longer than patent protection (20 years after invention). Copyright law aims to balance the incentive to create new work against the costs associated with high prices and restricted access to this work. This paper reviews the economic issues behind copyright and how these are challenged by changes in technology and market structure. While economics provides a powerful conceptual framework for understanding the trade-offs involved, the paper argues that our empirical knowledge base is very weak. Much more empirical analysis is needed to understand the impacts of changes to copyright legislation. Without such analysis, policy and legal debates will continue to be based largely on anecdote and rhetoric.

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File URL: http://www.world-economics-journal.com/Contents/ArticleOverview.aspx?ID=219
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE in its journal World Economics Journal.

Volume (Year): 6 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 153-174

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Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:219

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Cited by:
  1. Ivan Png, 2006. "Copyright: A Plea for Empirical Research," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000484, David K. Levine.
  2. Christine Greenhalgh & Mark Rogers, 2007. "The Value of Intellectual Property Rights to Firms," Economics Series Working Papers 319, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Ivan Png & Qiu-hong Wang, 2007. "Copyright Duration and the Supply of Creative Work," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000478, David K. Levine.

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