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Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms

  • Brett Danaher
  • Michael D. Smith
  • Rahul Telang

Much debate exists around the impact that illegal file sharing may have on the creative industries. Similarly, opinions differ regarding whether the producers of artistic works should be forced to accept any weakening of intellectual property rights resulting from illegal file sharing, or if governments should intervene to protect these rights. This chapter seeks to inform these questions by outlining what we do and do not know from existing academic research. We first discuss whether filesharing displaces sales of media goods and then discuss whether such displacement will lead to reduced incentives to produce new creative works. We continue by summarizing recent findings on what businesses can do to compete with piracy and the effectiveness of anti-piracy interventions on encouraging consumers to migrate from illegal to legal consumption channels. We conclude by demonstrating that without additional empirical evidence, it will be difficult to determine the socially optimal set of strategies and government copyright policies in the digital era.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19150.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Publication status: published as Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms , Brett Danaher, Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang. in Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 14 , Lerner and Stern. 2014
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19150
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  1. Michael Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Frictionless Commerce? A Comparison of Internet and Conventional Retailers," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1022, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Adermon, Adrian & Liang, Che-Yuan, 2010. "Piracy, Music and Movies: A Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series 854, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Stan J. Liebowitz & Alejandro Zentner, 2012. "Clash of the Titans: Does Internet use Reduce Television Viewing?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 234-245, February.
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  5. 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.
  6. W. D. Walls & A. DeVany, 2007. "Estimating the effects of movie piracy on box-office revenue," Working Papers 2014-56, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 23 Sep 2014.
  7. 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.
  8. Smith, Michael D. & Telang, Rahul, 2010. "Piracy or promotion? The impact of broadband Internet penetration on DVD sales," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 289-298, December.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Il-Horn Hann & Christian Terwiesch, 2003. "Measuring the Frictional Costs of Online Transactions: The Case of a Name-Your-Own-Price Channel," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1563-1579, November.
  12. Sudip Bhattacharjee & Ram D. Gopal & Kaveepan Lertwachara & James R. Marsden & Rahul Telang, 2007. "The Effect of Digital Sharing Technologies on Music Markets: A Survival Analysis of Albums on Ranking Charts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(9), pages 1359-1374, September.
  13. Joel Waldfogel, 2007. ""Lost" on the Web: Does Web Distribution Stimulate or Depress Television Viewing?," NBER Working Papers 13497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Brett Danaher & Samita Dhanasobhon & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang, 2010. "Converting Pirates Without Cannibalizing Purchasers: The Impact of Digital Distribution on Physical Sales and Internet Piracy," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(6), pages 1138-1151, 11-12.
  15. 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.
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  17. Birgitte Andersen & Marion Frenz, 2010. "Don’t blame the P2P file-sharers: the impact of free music downloads on the purchase of music CDs in Canada," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(5), pages 715-740, October.
  18. Brett Danaher & Michael D. Smith & Rahul Telang & Siwen Chen, 2014. "The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 541-553, 09.
  19. 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.
  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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