Brauneis and Oliar (2016)
|Brauneis and Oliar (2016)|
|Title:||Copyright’s Race, Gender and Age: A First Quantitative Look at Registrations|
|Author(s):||Robert Brauneis, Dotan Oliar|
|Citation:||Brauneis, R. and Olliar, D. (2016) Copyright’s Race, Gender and Age: A First Quantitative Look at Registrations. GWU Law School Public Law Research paper No. 2016-48|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study is composed of a statistical analysis of 14,598,621 original monograph copyright registration records in the US (excluding serial, non-original or invalid records), which were registered between 1978-2012 (and collected on 30 September 2014).|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“On a per capita basis, do African-American authors produce more copyright registrations than non-Hispanic whites? Do men and women show a within-group bias in choosing co-authors? And what decade in the average musician’s life is the most productive? This article provides answers to these questions – which happen to be yes, yes, and the 20s, respectively – and many more by statistically analyzing the 15 million entries that comprise the Copyright Office’s full record of registered works from 1978 through 2012. It provides a variety of perspectives on individuals’ creativity in modern-day America and on the beneficiaries of our copyright system along the axes of race, gender and age. Its findings suggest a need to promote greater diversity and equality in the processes of cultural production and the making of social meaning.”
Main Results of the Study
Race: Registered authors are mainly white, and this tendency has grown between 1978 and 2012. As at 2010, Hispanic authors only produce 7.27% of registered works, with non-Hispanic black authors steadily and slightly increasing since 1978. Different races correlate to different types of registered work, with e.g. Hispanics being more strongly represented in music.
Gender: Registered authors are predominantly male, representing 70% of registrations in 1978, and decreasing to 64% in 2012. As with race, representation varies across different registered work types. Men overwhelmingly dominate in film and software fields, whereas representation of women has increased most in text-based fields. Gender disparities have remained consistent in music, drama,and art.
Age: The average age of registered authors is around 40. An author’s ten most productive years are between the ages of 27 and 36. Authors in the field of music are the most concentrated in respect of age, with 36% of registrations between the ages of 24 and 33. Authors of published works are usually older than authors of unpublished works, but the gap is closing from the approximately 7 years of difference in 1978 to approximately 3 years in 2012.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study concludes that policymakers should minimise barriers to entry for individuals across a range of groups, as society benefits more from a diverse group of authors than a homogeneous one. Capacity to incentivise, as one of the main tenets of copyright law, should perhaps differ across individuals through e.g. reduced fees. Furthermore, the study implies that there may be policy failings elsewhere, such as in labour or educational policies, as authorship skills do not appear to be equally distributed amongst different races or genders.