Forever Minus a Day? Some Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright
AbstractThe optimal level for copyright has been a matter for extensive debate over the last decade. This paper contributes several new results on this issue divided into two parts. In the first, a parsimonious theoretical model is used to prove several novel propositions about the optimal level of protection. Specifically, we demonstrate that (a) optimal copyright is likely to fall as the production costs of `originals' decline (for example as a result of digitization) and that (b) the optimal level of copyright will, in general, fall over time. The second part of the paper focuses on the specific case of copyright term. Using a simple model we characterise optimal term as a function of a few key parameters. We estimate this function using a combination of new and existing data on recordings and books and find an optimal term of around fifteen years. This is substantially shorter than any current copyright term and implies that existing copyright terms are too long.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5024.
Date of creation: Feb 2007
Date of revision: 07 Aug 2007
Copyright; Intellectual Property; Copyright Term; Technological Change;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O34 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property Rights
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2007-09-30 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-09-30 (Intellectual Property Rights)
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