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On Strategic Enabling of Product Piracy in the Market for Video Games

  • Oliver Gürtler

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    In this paper, we consider the market for video games, where some firms are active in both, the market for video games hardware and software. It is puzzling that hardware can be easily made compatible with duplicated (i.e. pirated) software. We ask, whether there exist strategic reasons explaining this puzzle. Firms may, for example, enable software piracy in order to increase their market shares in the hardware market. This will indeed be true, if hardware prices are fixed and the market is completely covered. With endogenous prices, however, price reactions to enabling of product piracy will offset the increase in market shares and copy protection will be set at the highest possible level. If, on the other hand, the market is only partially covered, copy protection will be strategically reduced. In doing so, hardware firms shift reservation prices from the software to the more important hardware market.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse36_2005.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse36_2005.

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    Length: 29
    Date of creation: Nov 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse36_2005
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
    Fax: +49 228 73 6884
    Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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    1. Takeyama, Lisa N, 1994. "The Welfare Implications of Unauthorized Reproduction of Intellectual Property in the Presence of Demand Network Externalities," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 155-66, June.
    2. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    3. Varian, Hal R, 2000. "Buying, Sharing and Renting Information Goods," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 473-88, December.
    4. Novos, Ian E & Waldman, Michael, 1984. "The Effects of Increased Copyright Protection: An Analytic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 236-46, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Martin Peitz & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2003. "Piracy of Digital Products: A Critical Review of the Economics Literature," CESifo Working Paper Series 1071, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Besen, Stanley M & Kirby, Sheila Nataraj, 1989. "Private Copying, Appropriability, and Optimal Copying Royalties," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 255-80, October.
    8. Martin Peitz, 2004. "A Strategic Approach to Software Protection: Comment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 371-374, 06.
    9. Diana M. Burton & H. Alan Love & Gokhan Ozertan & Curtis R. Taylor, 2005. "Property Rights Protection of Biotechnology Innovations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 779-812, December.
    10. Gayer, Amit & Shy, Oz, 2003. "Internet and peer-to-peer distributions in markets for digital products," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 197-203, November.
    11. SHY, Oz & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "A strategic approach to software protection," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1413, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    12. Kathleen Reavis Conner & Richard P. Rumelt, 1991. "Software Piracy: An Analysis of Protection Strategies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(2), pages 125-139, February.
    13. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On Hotelling's "Stability in competition"," CORE Discussion Papers RP -385, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. Economides, Nicholas, 1986. "Minimal and maximal product differentiation in Hotelling's duopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 67-71.
    15. Johnson, William R, 1985. "The Economics of Copying," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 158-74, February.
    16. Liebowitz, S J, 1985. "Copying and Indirect Appropriability: Photocopying of Journals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 945-57, October.
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