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Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence from the Introduction of DVDs

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  • Julie Holland Mortimer

Abstract

This paper examines the welfare effects of intellectual property protection, accounting for firms' optimal responses to legal environments and technological innovation. I examine firms' use of indirect price discrimination in response to U.S. copyright law, which effectively prevents direct price discrimination. Using data covering VHS and DVD movie distribution, I explain studios' optimal pricing strategies under U.S. copyright law, and determine optimal pricing strategies under E.U. copyright law, which allows for direct price discrimination. I analyze these optimal pricing strategies for both the existing VHS technology and the new digital DVD technology. I find that studios' use of indirect price discrimination under US copyright law benefits consumers and harms retailers. Optimal pricing under E.U. copyright law also tends to benefit studios and consumers. I also reanalyze these issues assuming continued DVD adoption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11676.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: published as Mortimer, Julie Holland. "Price Discrimination, Copyright Law, and Technological Innovation: Evidence from the Introduction of DVDs." Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, 3 (August 2007): 1307-50.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11676

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Justin Ho & Katherine Ho & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2008. "The Use of Full-line Forcing Contracts in the Video Rental Industry," NBER Working Papers 14588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ioannis Ioannou & Julie Holland Mortimer & Richard Mortimer, 2011. "The Effects Of Capacity On Sales Under Alternative Vertical Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 117-154, 03.
  3. Gilson Geraldino Silva Jr, 2011. "R&D, Marketstructure And Appropriability In The Brazilian Manufacturing," Anais do XXXVII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 37th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 140, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  4. W. Walls, 2010. "Superstars and heavy tails in recorded entertainment: empirical analysis of the market for DVDs," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 261-279, November.
  5. Ivan Png, 2006. "Copyright: A Plea for Empirical Research," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000484, David K. Levine.
  6. Calzada, Joan & Valletti, Tommaso, 2011. "Intertemporal movie distribution: Versioning when customers can buy both versions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Pinar Karaca-Mandic, 2011. "Role of complementarities in technology adoption: The case of DVD players," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-210, June.
  8. Gilson Geraldino Silva Jr, 2011. "Product Innovation, Market Structure Andappropriability In The Brazilian Manufacturing," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 180, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  9. Smith, Michael D. & Telang, Rahul, 2010. "Piracy or promotion? The impact of broadband Internet penetration on DVD sales," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 289-298, December.
  10. Jordi McKenzie, 2010. "How do theatrical box office revenues affect DVD retail sales? Australian empirical evidence," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 159-179, August.
  11. Lesley Chiou, 2005. "The Timing of Movie Releases: Evidence from the Home Video Industry," Occidental Economics Working Papers 4, Occidental College, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2006.
  12. Chiou, Lesley, 2008. "The timing of movie releases: Evidence from the home video industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1059-1073, September.
  13. Chenghuan Sean Chu, 2008. "The effect of satellite entry on product quality for cable television," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Gil, Ricard & Hartmann, Wesley R., 2008. "Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies? An Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination," Research Papers 1983, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.

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