Khan (2004)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Khan (2004)
Title: Does Copyright Piracy Pay? The Effects of US International Copyright Laws on the Market for Books, 1790-1920
Author(s): Khan, B. Z.
Year: 2004
Citation: Khan, B. Z. (2004). Does Copyright Piracy Pay? The Effects of US International Copyright Laws on the Market for Books, 1790-1920 (No. w10271). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: The author's analysis is based on copyright registrations, information on authors, book titles and prices, financial data from the accounts of a major publishing company, and lawsuits regarding copyright questions.
Data Type: Secondary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • Not stated
Funder(s):
  • Bowdoin College
  • UCLA School of Law

Abstract

Does the lack of international copyrights benefit or harm developing countries? I examine the effects of U.S. copyright piracy during a period when the U.S. was itself a developing country. U.S. statutes since 1790 protected the copyrights of American citizens, but until 1891 deemed the works of foreign citizens to be in the public domain. In 1891, the laws were changed to allow foreigners to obtain copyright protection in the United States if certain conditions were met. Thus, this episode in American history provides us with a convenient way of investigating the consequences of international copyright piracy. My analysis is based on copyright registrations, information on authors, book titles and prices, financial data from the accounts of a major publishing company, and lawsuits regarding copyright questions. These data are used to investigate the welfare effects of widespread infringement of foreign works on American publishers, writers, and the public. The results suggest that the United States benefited from piracy and that the choice of copyright regime was endogenous to the level of economic development.

Main Results of the Study

- The evidence from the regressions does not support the notion that American books were suffering from competition with cheaper foreign books.

- Only for some classes of publications the majority of books in the US were written by Americans.

- There is a gradual decline over time in the role of foreign authorship, between 1790 and 1829, two thirds of all authors of fiction bestsellers were foreign, a discrete change in relative success of American writers occurred after the 1830s. By the early twentieth century Americans comprised the majority of best-selling authors in this country. This fall over time in the fraction of foreign authorship may have been due to a natural evolutionary process, or may have been caused by the change in the copyright laws.

- The extend of the influence of copyright reforms on the propensity for Americans to become professional authors, depends on the class of publications.

- Evidence does not support that writers were discouraged from choosing authorship as a career by the lack of international copyright protection.

- According to regression results publishers' profits are not harmed by the lack of legal copyright.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

- Copyright policy interventions can favour individual countries but the effect on the global economy as a whole is uncertain.

- Interventions on IP rights have a differentiable effect on the various classes of publications, suggesting that IP policies can be different from class to class.


Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Green-tick.png
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Green-tick.png
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Green-tick.png
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 2,658
Level of aggregation: Book prices
Period of material under study: 1832-1858


Sample size: 1,367
Level of aggregation: Literary authors
Period of material under study: 1790-1920


Sample size: 1500
Level of aggregation: Profit margin units
Period of material under study: 1832-1858