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Versioning of information goods under the threat of piracy

  • Cho, Won-Young
  • Ahn, Byong-Hun
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    The present study investigates the effects of piracy on the quality decisions of a firm that produces two versions of an information good: that is, one version for a consumer with a high willingness to pay and a second version for a consumer with a low willingness to pay. On the assumption that there is no quality difference between the original and the illegal copy and that the cost of the copy is constant across users, we show that the presence of piracy induces the firm to choose a lower level of quality of the former and a higher level of quality of the latter relative to decisions made in the absence of piracy. We also discuss policy implications concerning the socially optimal level of copyright protection.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 332-340

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:22:y:2010:i:4:p:332-340
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    4. Bae, Sang Hoo & Choi, Jay Pil, 2006. "A model of piracy," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 303-320, September.
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    7. Bakos, Yannis & Brynjolfsson, Erik & Lichtman, Douglas, 1999. "Shared Information Goods," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 117-55, April.
    8. Besen, Stanley M & Kirby, Sheila Nataraj, 1989. "Private Copying, Appropriability, and Optimal Copying Royalties," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 255-80, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Peitz, Martin & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2006. "Piracy of digital products: A critical review of the theoretical literature," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 449-476, November.
    11. Liebowitz, S J, 1985. "Copying and Indirect Appropriability: Photocopying of Journals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 945-57, October.
    12. Yoon, Kiho, 2002. "The optimal level of copyright protection," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 327-348, September.
    13. Ram D. Gopal & G. Lawrence Sanders, 2006. "Do Artists Benefit from Online Music Sharing?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1503-1534, May.
    14. M. Alvisi & E. Argentesi & E. Carbonara, 2002. "Piracy and Quality Choice in Monopolistic Markets," Working Papers 436, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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