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Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare

In: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 12

  • Joel Waldfogel

Executive SummaryThe decade since Napster has seen a dramatic reduction in revenue to the recorded music industry, and organizations representing the recording industry have argued, first, that piracy explains this revenue reduction and, second, that the effective weakening of copyright protection for recorded music will reduce the amount of new music coming to market. Much of the research in this area has sought to document the effect of file sharing on the recording industry' revenue, and most observers agree that technological change has sharply reduced the effective degree of protection that copyright affords since 1999. But a separate and potentially more important question is what has happened to the supply of new music in the decade since file sharing. This paper reports findings from emerging literatures on these questions. A new index of the quantity of new music derived from critics' best-of lists suggests that the quantity of new consequential recorded music has not declined since Napster.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Josh Lerner & Scott Stern, 2012. "Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern11-2.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12454.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12454
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    1. Bellemare, Marc F. & Holmberg, Andrew M., 2010. "The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students," MPRA Paper 23641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Zentner, Alejandro, 2006. "Measuring the Effect of File Sharing on Music Purchases," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 63-90, April.
    3. Hui Kai-Lung & Png Ivan, 2003. "Piracy and the Legitimate Demand for Recorded Music," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, September.
    4. Marie Connolly & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music," NBER Working Papers 11282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David Bounies & Marc Bourreau & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2007. "Pirates or Explorers ?Analysis of Music Consumption in French Graduate Schools," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(2), pages 167-192.
    6. Varian, Hal R, 2000. "Buying, Sharing and Renting Information Goods," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 473-88, December.
    7. Hong, Seung-Hyun, 2007. "The recent growth of the internet and changes in household-level demand for entertainment," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 304-318, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Julie Holland Mortimer & Chris Nosko & Alan Sorensen, 2010. "Supply Responses to Digital Distribution: Recorded Music and Live Performances," NBER Working Papers 16507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Waldfogel, Joel, 2010. "Music file sharing and sales displacement in the iTunes era," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 306-314, December.
    11. Michel Norbert J, 2006. "The Impact of Digital File Sharing on the Music Industry: An Empirical Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, September.
    12. Bhattacharjee, Sudip & Gopal, Ram D & Lertwachara, Kaveepan & Marsden, James R, 2006. "Impact of Legal Threats on Online Music Sharing Activity: An Analysis of Music Industry Legal Actions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 91-114, April.
    13. Stan J. Liebowitz & Richard Watt, 2006. "How To Best Ensure Remuneration For Creators In The Market For Music? Copyright And Its Alternatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 513-545, 09.
    14. Boldrin,Michele & Levine,David K., 2008. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521879286, June.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Peitz, Martin & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2006. "Why the music industry may gain from free downloading -- The role of sampling," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 907-913, September.
    19. Stan J. Liebowitz, 2005. "Economists Examine File-Sharing and Music Sales," Industrial Organization 0505001, EconWPA.
    20. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
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