Price Discrimination and Copyright Law: Evidence from the Introduction of DVDs
This paper examines the welfare effects of intellectual property protection, accounting for firms’ optimal responses to legal environments. I examine firms’ use of indirect price discrimination in response to U. S. copyright law preventing direct price discrimination. Using data covering VHS and DVD movie distribution, I explain studios’ optimal pricing strategies under U. S. copyright law, and determine optimal pricing strategies under E. U. copyright law, which allows for direct price discrimination. I find that studios’ use of indirect price discrimination benefits consumers and harms retailers. Optimal pricing under E. U. copyright law further benefits studios and consumers. I also reanalyze these issues assuming continued DVD adoption.
|Date of creation:||2004|
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/journals/hier
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