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Economists’ Topsy-Turvy View of Piracy

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Author Info

  • Stan Liebowitz

    (University of Texas at Dallas)

Abstract

Although it was once considered inevitable that unauthorized copying would harm copyright owners, it is now understood that this is not necessarily the case. The concept of indirect appropriability played an important role in shaping this newer understanding. In recent years, however, many economists seem to have taken the message from this new understanding too far, seeing gains to the copyright owners from unauthorized copying in every nook and cranny of the economy, when in reality the instances of such gains are likely to be rather limited. The current literature on this subject, which consists mainly of theoretical models, seems to be badly out of kilter. In this paper I attempt to explain some of the problems and try to provide the outlines of what I believe to be a more balanced and nuanced view of copying. It emphasizes the importance of examining various institutional and behavioral details of individual markets, which are often overlooked by researchers.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/le/papers/0505/0505002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0505002.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 03 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0505002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24. Part of Symposium on Indirect Appropriability
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: copyright; indirect appropriability; copying; mp3; downloads;

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Cited by:
  1. David Waterman & Sung Ji & Laura Rochet, 2007. "Enforcement and Control of Piracy, Copying, and Sharing in the Movie Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 255-289, June.
  2. Alan E. Woodfield, 2006. "Piracy Accommodation and the Optimal Timing of Royalty Payments," Working Papers in Economics 06/01, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
  3. Handke, Christian, 2012. "Digital copying and the supply of sound recordings," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 15-29.
  4. Insaf Bekir & Sana El Harbi & Gilles Grolleau, 2013. "How a luxury monopolist might benefit from the aspirational utility effect of counterfeiting?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 169-182, August.
  5. Insaf Bekir & Sana El Harbi & Gilles Grolleau, 2012. "The strategy of raising counterfeiters’ costs in luxury markets," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 645-661, June.
  6. Stan J. Liebowitz & Richard Watt, 2006. "How To Best Ensure Remuneration For Creators In The Market For Music? Copyright And Its Alternatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 513-545, 09.

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