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Copyright indicators and the costs of symbolic production: The cultural dimension of telecommunications policy

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  • Sanz, Esteve

Abstract

The paper discusses the current situation of the economic case of copyright through the available theoretical and empirical literature, and from a cultural economics perspective. For its classic case, copyright can only increase welfare in a dynamic setting, when the static welfare losses are offset by dynamic welfare gains: monopolistic rents give producers an incentive to produce more, offering consumers more innovation in return. In the digital age, many economists have remained skeptical about the welfare benefits of strong copyright policies, notwithstanding the lack of indicators of the actual effects of such policies, especially in terms of the production of new cultural goods. While accepting this conclusion, the paper argues that, in order to construct a more realistic landscape of indicators to inform copyright policy makers, the economic case of copyright needs to be broadened to include not only the direct producers of the work in its material form, but also the producers of the meaning and value of the work (the overall perception of its “quality”). Once both symbolic and material production are theoretically and empirically incorporated in the economic case of copyright policy, a new set of hypothesis and indicators can be constructed and tested in relation to changes in the telecommunication system.

Suggested Citation

  • Sanz, Esteve, 2015. "Copyright indicators and the costs of symbolic production: The cultural dimension of telecommunications policy," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 208-217.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:39:y:2015:i:3:p:208-217
    DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2015.01.004
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