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Copyright for the Digital Age - A Call for Legislative Reversibility

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  • Felix Oberholzer-Gee

Abstract

Policymakers tend to adopt too narrow a view of the creative industries when determining the desirability of copyright protection. In these industries, authors will often create new works despite weak protection. As recent developments in the music industry illustrate, markets for complements alone can be sufficiently lucrative to entice artists to remain active even when copyright is seriously weakened. However, the value of complements is difficult to forecast. As a result, lawmakers will often set inappropriate copyright terms. In this note, I call for an approach to copyright legislation that makes it feasible to correct these unavoidable mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2011. "Copyright for the Digital Age - A Call for Legislative Reversibility," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 417-425, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2011-iv-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stan J. Liebowitz, 2008. "Research Note--Testing File Sharing's Impact on Music Album Sales in Cities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 852-859, April.
    2. Joel Waldfogel, 2011. "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie? The Supply of New Recorded Music Since Napster," NBER Working Papers 16882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "The Economics of Real Superstars: The Market for Rock Concerts in the Material World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
    4. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    5. Mortimer, Julie Holland & Nosko, Chris & Sorensen, Alan, 2012. "Supply responses to digital distribution: Recorded music and live performances," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-14.
    6. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Koleman Strumpf, 2007. "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 1-42.
    7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Copyright; Creative Industries; Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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