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The economics of copyright

Corrigan, Ray and Rogers, Mark (2005). The economics of copyright. World Economics, 6(3) pp. 153–174.

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The copyright industries — such as music, film, software and publishing — occupy a significant and growing share of economic activity. Current copyright law protects the creator for up to 70 years after their death, significantly longer than patent protection (20 years after invention). Copyright law aims to balance the incentive to create new work against the costs associated with high prices and restricted access to this work. This paper reviews the economic issues behind copyright and how these are challenged by changes in technology and market structure. While economics provides a powerful conceptual framework for understanding the trade-offs involved, the paper argues that our empirical knowledge base is very weak. Much more empirical analysis is needed to understand the impacts of changes to copyright legislation. Without such analysis, policy and legal debates will continue to be based largely on anecdote and rhetoric.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2005 Economics & Financial Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1474-3884
Extra Information: Mark Rogers is economics fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University. Ray Corrigan is a Senior Lecturer in Technology at the Open University.
Keywords: copyright; economic activity; intellectual property; industrial organization; patent practice
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 10299
Depositing User: Ray Corrigan
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:09
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