Digital Piracy: A Competitive Analysis
In recent years, the issue of copyright protection for intellectual properties such as computer software, music CDs, and videos has become increasingly important. It is often claimed that illegal copying of intellectual property costs companies billions of dollars in lost revenues and reduces firms' incentives to innovate. Some researchers have shown that copying can be beneficial to firms when there are strong network effects and copying expands the market. In this paper, we first examine the impact of illegal copying of software and other similar intellectual properties on firms' prices, profits, and quality choices, even when there are no network effects and the market is saturated. We show that contrary to the claims of manufacturers, there are conditions under which copying can increase firms' profits, lead to better quality products, and increase social welfare. This is because weaker copyright protection enables firms to reduce price competition by allowing price-sensitive consumers to copy. Thus, copyright protection can serve as a coordination device to reduce price competition. We also examine how equilibrium copyright enforcement is affected by network externalities. In contrast to previous research, we show that strong network effects can sometimes lead to a firm choosing higher levels of copyright protection. Our results show that in the presence of strong network effects, copyright enforcement by one firm can serve as a coordinating device to reduce price competition.
Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (07-08)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:610-626. 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: (Mirko Janc)
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.