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Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues (RERCI)

RERCI Articles

Free Software and Intellectual Property in Brazil: Threats, Opportunites and Motivations

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 2, No. 2, 95-109, 2005

Antonio M. Buainain and Cassia I. C. Mendes

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Abstract

This article discusses the implications of the intellectual property system as applied to software, especially the use of patents, for innovation in developing countries; it also assesses the possible consequences of the appearance of free software and a new intellectual property system in the innovation process in countries such as Brazil; finally, it attempts to analyse the new dimension of intellectual property as well as its context in the current debate on 'global patents' as opposed to a more flexible copyright system. Some of the questions discussed are: Is a more flexible copyright system an instrument to promote technological innovation? Does the reduction of the income of some software companies in developed countries point toward an exhaustion of the sales model of user licenses for software? What are the threats and opportunities for the new business model based on free software and copy left in Brazil? Can the motivations for the use and development of free software promote the Brazilian software industry?

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Sunk Costs, Free-Riding Justifications, and Compulsory Licensing of Interfaces

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 2, 29-53, 2004

Net Le

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Abstract

This paper addresses two popular arguments against a compulsory license of software interface, using risk analysis methodology. These concerns are the non-recovery of sunk costs and the threats posed by free riders. My argument is that while both concerns are legitimate, they are remediable. The purpose of the law is not to allow the incumbent to recover its 'sunk costs', but to give sufficient incentives for it to innovate. These two incentives are the monetary incentives (finding fair access fees and stimulating cooperation with the entrants after the license) and the time incentive (finding a period during which refusal to license is acceptable). With respect to the fair amount of access fees, it is better to provide a mechanism so that the licensor and the licensee can negotiate the fees themselves, rather than to impose a strict method of fee calculation. If the monetary incentives alone are sufficient to generate motivation for innovation, the time incentive should not be used.

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Private-Collective Software Business Models: Coordination and Commercialization Via Licensing

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 4, No. 1, 47-61, 2007

Heli A. Koski

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Abstract

Private-collective business models that involve both private investment incentives and the production of public goods are not well understood. This empirically oriented research uses a unique data from the software industries of five European countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain) to illuminate the patterns of private, entrepreneurial provision of software placed in the public domain. The estimation results strongly suggest that the highly restrictive GPL works as an efficient coordination mechanism for the (leading) developers of the OSS community and spreads particularly via the firms that have participated in the OSS development projects. The software companies supplying the OSS, instead, tend not to aim at using the GPL to coordinate the further development of their own OSS. Rather the firms are the origin of more flexibly licensed OSS products though generally the software firms' OSS business strategies relate to the restrictive licensing strategy choices.

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A Response to Prof. Shavell's 'Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?'

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 7, No. 1, 31-44, 2010

Hossein Nabilou

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Abstract

Undoubtedly, the idea of strong property rights is the underlying idea of economics and one of the main sources of economic incentive. In his paper, Prof. Shavell (see Shavell, 2009) seems to question and eventually impugn the idea of the economic efficiency of property rights in the market place of ideas in the academic world. In this regard, I will criticize his paper with the economic methods and will explain how Prof. Shavell's idea of the abolishing copyrights for the academic works might suffer from inconsistencies and also lacks the merits in generating a more economically efficient atmosphere for the academic works.

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Efficiency Considerations in Copyright Protection

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 2, 11-27, 2004

Marcel Boyer

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Abstract

Many countries are revisiting their Copyright law in the light of new communication and information technologies, which make possible the generalized digitization of copyrighted material and in so doing hallenge the protection and enforcement of copyrights. As the laws are modified to adapt to this new environment, the foundations of copyright have been questioned. I claim here that the affirmation and protection of a strong and transparent copyright framework is a second best efficient institutional arrangement to foster cultural development and diversity and promote the emergence of new market-like institutions reducing the costs of transactions between creators and users.

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Copyright Auctions and the Asset Value of a Copyright Work

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 13(2), 83-99, 2016

Ruth Towse

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Abstract

Research on the economic history of copyright and music publishing turned up an unusual source of data on the value of copyrights, namely detailed accounts of public auctions of musical items that were held in London between 1794 and 1960 of, inter alia, copyrights and the engraved plates from which musical works were printed. The standard contract between song writers/composers and music publishers in the 19th century bought out all rights and therefore the sale of the plates was also the sale of the copyright to the work, enabling the new owner to print and distribute the work. The sales also facilitated entry into and exit from the industry.
This paper describes the historical circumstances of copyright and the market for printed music and presents some of the more notable data, with calculations of their present day values. Though insufficient for a full statistical analysis, the paper provides some hard evidence of the asset value of copyright in musical works as perceived by the music publishers of those times. The paper also suggests a basis for further research.

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Indirect Appropriability 20 Years on

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1-4, 2005

Richard Watt

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Abstract

20 years ago, Stan Liebowitz's famous paper on indirect appropriability was published in the Journal of Political Economy. At the time, it would surely have been impossible to predict the impact that the paper, together with two or three others published in the same journal at around the same time, would have on the fledgling area of economics that was being re-born under the label of "the economics of copyright."

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Europe's Lost Royalty Opportunity: A Comparison of Potential and Existing Digital Music Royalty Markets in Ten Different EU States

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 11(2), 60-91, 2014

Roya Ghafele

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Abstract

A comparison of existing online revenues collected from digital music licenses and the potential royalty market for online music, suggests an inadequate royalty market capture within the European Union. An estimate of the 2012 market for digital music royalties in ten different E.U. countries indicates this market could have been well over €18 billion. However, only €116 million were reported by corresponding Collective Rights Management Organizations in that same year. The three largest digital music royalty markets (U.K., Germany and France) comprise around €11 billion. Yet, the corresponding Collective Rights Management Organizations (PRS for Music, SACEM and GEMA) generate only €95 million in royalty revenue from all online media. The gap between existing and potential royalties is tremendous and suggests that E.U. Member States have not come to grips yet with the internet. Their existing business models, paired with a regulatory environment rooted in the 19th century rationale of the Berne Convention has not been supportive of grasping the opportunities provided by a disruptive technology. By consequence, artists do not receive the royalties they deserve, commercial users are exposed to prohibitive license fees and non-commercial users suffer from adequate legal alternatives to digital piracy.

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In Search of a Methodology to Assess the Copyright Industries in Developing Countries: The Experience of Mercosur and Chile

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004

Antonio M. Buainain

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Abstract

The object of this paper is to present the methodology and key findings of a study entitled The Economic Importance of the Industries & Activities Protected by Copyright or Related Intellectual Property Rights in the Mercosur Countries Plus Chile, which may be useful as a basis for similar research in other developing countries. It should be noted that this is not an academic study designed to investigate hypotheses on the dynamics and role of the copyright industries or the role of intellectual property and related rights in the formation and evolution of the copyright industries. The purpose of the study is more modest. Its authors set out to describe the copyright industries in general terms and measure their importance in income formation, job creation and trade in the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) plus Chile. The study was commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Mercosur countries plus Chile, which were interested in assessing the economic importance of the copyright industries in those countries.

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Some Challenges for Copyright-Related Quantification

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, 41-50, 2004

Jeremy Thorpe

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Abstract

Drawing on personal experience, this note outlines a number of the methodological challenges that exist when trying to provide some quantification of the economic impacts and contributions related to copyright law and policy (See The Allen Consulting Group, 2003a, The Allen Consulting Group,2001, and The Allen Consulting Group, 2003b).

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The Effects of the Berne Convention on Translations in the Netherlands

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 11(1), 9-31, 2014

Leo Fankhanel

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Abstract

The Berne Convention was the first attempt to recognise the copyright of foreign authors and their translations. I create a unique dataset to analyse the long run effects of the Berne Convention in 1912 in the Netherlands. Using pre-post statistical analysis and regression discontinuity design I find a significant decrease in the number of books translated per capita and an increase in translations per author.

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The Measurement of Copyright Industries: The US Experience

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, 17-25, 2004

Steve Siwek

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Abstract

This paper outlines the experiences of the economist who elaborated the studies on the economic importance of copyright for the US economy.

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Should Different Information Economies Have the Same Duration of Copyright?

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 6, No. 1, 13-33, 2009

Michael Y. Yuan

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Abstract

Copyright has been increasingly internationalized and, recently, more and more harmonized. However, there has been little theoretical study of international copyright. This paper develops and analyzes a non-cooperative two-country model of copyright, where two countries trade in information goods and each with an open and competitive information goods industry sets copyright policy to pursue self-national interest. The model suggests that an increase in demand for information goods in a country calls for longer copyright protection in this country and shorter protection in its trading partner; decreases in fixed or per-product creative costs in a country with lower such costs call for marginally shorter protection; and an improvement in the economies of creative scale in a country with better economies of creative scale calls for marginally longer protection. Understanding these rational responses of nations to changes in creative technologies and markets should be helpful for international copyright-policy making.

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Indefinitely Renewable Copyright and the Current Copyright System: A Two Country Setting Comparison

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 8, No. 2, 35-54, 2011

Michael Y. Yuan and Koji Domon

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Abstract

As an alternative to the current copyright system (FLC), indefinitely renewable copyright (IRC) has not been compared to the current system in international settings. We compare them in a two country setting. We find that optimally configured IRC does not necessarily lead to higher national or global welfare than an optimally configured FLC.

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Bestselling Musical Compositions (1913-32) and Their Use in Cinema (1968-2007)

Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 6, No. 2, 31-60, 2009

Paul J. Heald

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Abstract

Some economists assert that as valuable works transition from copyrighted status and fall into the public domain they will be underexploited and their value dissipated. Others insist instead that without an owner to control their use, valuable public domain works will be overexploited or otherwise debased. This study of the most valuable musical compositions from 1913-32 demonstrates that neither hypothesis is true as it applies to the exploitation of songs in movies from 1968-2007. When compositions fall into the public domain, they are just as likely to be exploited in movies, suggesting no under-exploitation. And the rate of exploitation of these public domain songs is no greater than that of copyrighted songs, indicating no congestion externality. The absence of market failure is likely due to producer and consumer self-regulation.

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