IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlawec/doi10.1086-665824.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Copyright Protection, Technological Change, and the Quality of New Products: Evidence from Recorded Music since Napster

Author

Listed:
  • Joel Waldfogel

Abstract

While some recent technological changes reduced revenue for digital products, other changes reduced the costs of bringing creative works to market. Therefore, we do not know whether copyright protection now provides weaker incentives to bring forth new products. This paper assesses the quality of new recorded music since Napster was established in 1999. First, I create an index of high-quality music from critics' retrospective lists. Next, I rely on music sales and airplay data, using the idea that if one vintage's music is better than another's, its superior quality should generate higher sales or greater airplay through time, after accounting for depreciation. I find no evidence of a reduction in the quality of music released since 1999, and the two usage-based indices suggest an increase since then. Researchers and policy makers thinking about the strength of copyright protection should supplement their attention to producer surplus with concern for consumer surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Copyright Protection, Technological Change, and the Quality of New Products: Evidence from Recorded Music since Napster," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 715-740.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/665824
    DOI: 10.1086/665824
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/665824
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/665824
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1086/665824?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rob, Rafael & Waldfogel, Joel, 2006. "Piracy on the High C's: Music Downloading, Sales Displacement, and Social Welfare in a Sample of College Students," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 29-62, April.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Connolly, Marie & Krueger, Alan B., 2006. "Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, in: V.A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 667-719, Elsevier.
    5. Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2010. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127264, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Tyler Cowen, 2000. "Creative industries: contracts between art and commerce, by Caves, R.E. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2000, ix + 454 pp., $45.00 (cloth)," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 208-209.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Koleman Strumpf, 2010. "File Sharing and Copyright," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 19-55, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 91-110.
    3. Gans, Joshua S., 2015. "“Selling Out” and the impact of music piracy on artist entry," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 58-64.
    4. 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.
    5. Lee, Jonathan F., 2018. "Purchase, pirate, publicize: Private-network music sharing and market album sales," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 35-55.
    6. 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.
    7. Stefano Comino & Fabio Maria Manenti, 2015. "Intellectual Property and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)," JRC Research Reports JRC97541, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    8. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2014. "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 25-61.
    9. Samuel Cameron, 2016. "Past, present and future: music economics at the crossroads," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 1-12, February.
    10. Mary J. Benner & Joel Waldfogel, 2016. "The Song Remains the Same? Technological Change and Positioning in the Recorded Music Industry," Strategy Science, INFORMS, vol. 1(3), pages 129-147, September.
    11. Tyrowicz, Joanna & Krawczyk, Michal & Hardy, Wojciech, 2020. "Friends or foes? A meta-analysis of the relationship between “online piracy” and the sales of cultural goods," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C).
    12. R. Hiller, 2014. "Exclusive Dealing and Its Effects: The Impact of Large Music Festivals on Local Music Venues," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 45(2), pages 153-175, September.
    13. Aguiar, Luis & Waldfogel, Joel, 2016. "Even the losers get lucky sometimes: New products and the evolution of music quality since Napster," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-15.
    14. Leung, Tin Cheuk, 2015. "Music piracy: Bad for record sales but good for the iPod?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-12.
    15. Joel Waldfogel, 2017. "How Digitization Has Created a Golden Age of Music, Movies, Books, and Television," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 195-214, Summer.
    16. Markus Pasche, 2014. "Welfare Effects of Endogenous Copyright Enforcement - the Case of Digital Goods," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    17. Handke, Christian, 2012. "Digital copying and the supply of sound recordings," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 15-29.
    18. Wojciech Hardy & Michal Krawczyk & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2015. "Friends or foes? A meta-analysis of the link between "online piracy" and sales of cultural goods," Working Papers 2015-23, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    19. Tin Cheuk Leung, 2013. "What Is the True Loss Due to Piracy? Evidence from Microsoft Office in Hong Kong," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 1018-1029, July.
    20. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Copyright Research in the Digital Age: Moving from Piracy to the Supply of New Products," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 337-342, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/665824. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.