Optimal Copyright Length And Ex Post Investment: A Mickey Mouse Approach
This paper formally explores the optimal length of copyright protection when the value of an intellectual work changes over time due to depreciation and value-enhancing ex-post investments. The first main finding is that, in the case of a single project, granting infinitely-lived copyright protection maximizes social welfare when the return on ex-post investments is high relative to the return on the initial investment. We also provide simulation results of our model for the case of multiple heterogeneous projects that show how social welfare varies with the length of copyright protection and the returns on initial and ex-post investments. We then consider what our framework says concerning the social-welfare effects of the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act. Here we show that, depending on the importance of ex-post investments, the act may have either increased or decreased social welfare. Our final analysis considers the social-welfare implications of replacing fixed-length copyright protection with Landes and Posner's (2003) idea of indefinitely-renewable copyright protection. We find that implementing indefinitely-renewable copyright protection frequently increases social welfare provided the returns on ex-post investments are sufficiently large. We also provide a brief history of Disney's Mickey Mouse and argue that the history of that character matches quite well with the predictions of our theoretical approach.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 18830 Brookhurst Street, Suite 304, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 USA|
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0095-2583
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0095-2583|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stan J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 2005. "Seventeen Famous Economists Weigh In On Copyright: The Role Of Theory, Empirics, And Network Effects," Law and Economics 0505003, EconWPA.
- Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard A. Posner, 2005. "Intellectual Property: The Law and Economics Approach," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 57-73, Spring.
- Scherer, F M, 1972. "Nordhaus' Theory of Optimal Patent Life: A Geometric Reinterpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 422-27, June.
- 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.
- Hal R. Varian, 2005. "Copying and Copyright," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 121-138, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:1101-1122. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.