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Seventeen Famous Economists Weigh In On Copyright: The Role Of Theory, Empirics, And Network Effects

Author

Listed:
  • Stan J. Liebowitz

    (University of Texas at Dallas)

  • Stephen E. Margolis

    (North Carolina State University)

Abstract

In 2002, seventeen economists including five Nobel Laureates presented an amicus curiae brief discussing the economics of copyright extension in support of the petitioners in Eldred v. Ashcroft. The economists’ amicus brief was unusual in several respects, not least in that it brought together a group of economists almost as notable for its diversity of opinion (spanning the ideological spectrum from Kenneth Arrow to Milton Friedman) as for its academic distinction. When such a distinguished and broad panel of economists readers would have every reason to believe that the arguments set forth in this document are sound down to the smallest details. Yet this is not the case. Scholars in the fields of law and economics will continue to address the economics of copyright duration in the foreseeable future, so it is important that they understand the imperfections in the economists’ brief. This Article provides a counterweight to the amicus brief, identifying some points the economists ignored, clarifying some discussions they did not quite get right, and providing data that runs counter to some assumptions they made.

Suggested Citation

  • Stan J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 2005. "Seventeen Famous Economists Weigh In On Copyright: The Role Of Theory, Empirics, And Network Effects," Law and Economics 0505003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0505003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 23. forthcoming in Harvard Journal of Law and Technology
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/le/papers/0505/0505003.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim Jin-Hyuk, 2007. "Strategic Use of Copyright Protection to Deter Entry," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, September.
    2. Baker, Matthew J & Cunningham, Brendan M, 2006. "Court Decisions and Equity Markets: Estimating the Value of Copyright Protection," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 567-596, October.
    3. Handke, Christian & Girard, Yann & Mattes, Anselm, 2015. "Fördert das Urheberrecht Innovation? Eine empirische Untersuchung," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 16-2015, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.
    4. Olivier P. Bomsel, 2013. "Copyright And Brands In The Digital Age: Internalizing The Externalities Of Meaning," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 126-134, January.
    5. Dobusch, Leonhard & Quack, Sigrid, 2010. "Urheberrecht zwischen Kreativität und Verwertung: Transnationale Mobilisierung und private Regulierung," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. repec:kap:ejlwec:v:43:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10657-016-9538-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ivan Png, 2006. "Copyright: A Plea for Empirical Research," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000484, David K. Levine.
    8. Paul J. Heald, 2014. "The public domain," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Copyright, chapter 5, pages 93-104 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Peter Lewin, 2007. "Creativity or Coercion: Alternative Perspectives on Rights to Intellectual Property," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 441-455, April.
    10. Noemí Pulido Pavón & Luis Palma Martos & Luis F. Aguado, 2016. "Derechos de autor. Enfoque económico, evolución y perspectivas," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 18(35), pages 151-169, July-Dece.
    11. Ivan Png & Qiu-hong Wang, 2007. "Copyright Duration and the Supply of Creative Work," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000478, David K. Levine.
    12. Yasuhiro Arai & Shinya Kinukawa, 2014. "Copyright infringement as user innovation," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(2), pages 131-144, May.
    13. Nodir Adilov & Michael Waldman, 2013. "Optimal Copyright Length And Ex Post Investment: A Mickey Mouse Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1101-1122, April.
    14. Pollock, Rufus, 2008. "Forever Minus a Day? Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright Term," MPRA Paper 8887, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 May 2008.
    15. Pollock, Rufus, 2007. "Forever Minus a Day? Some Theory and Empirics of Optimal Copyright," MPRA Paper 5024, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Aug 2007.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Eldred; coypright; sonny bono; lessig;

    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics

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