Ku, Sun and Fan (2009)

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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

Ku, Sun and Fan (2009)
Title: Does Copyright Law Promote Creativity? An Empirical Analysis of Copyright's Bounty
Author(s): Ku, R. S. R., Sun, J., Fan, Y.
Year: 2009
Citation: Ku, R. S. R., Sun, J., & Fan, Y. (2009). Does Copyright Law Promote Creativity? An Empirical Analysis of Copyright's Bounty. Vanderbilt Law Review, 63, 09-20.
Link(s): Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by: Oliar (2017), Oliar, Pattison and Powell (2014)
About the Data
Data Description: Used data of copyright registrations from 1870-2006
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):

Abstract

Modern copyright law is based upon a theory: increase copyright protection and you increase the number of creative works available to society. This theory has been the driving force behind an economic vision that has expanded, beyond all recognition, the original law created by the Statute of Anne. And with this expansion, we are told that the costs associated with copyright are worthwhile because of the bounty it produces. What if this theory could be tested? After all, this is not a question of faith or morality, nor is it a statement on how humans should behave; it is a theory about how humans do behave. In this article, we use statistical analysis to test the theory that increasing copyright protection usually increases the number of new creative works. Relying upon U.S. copyright registrations from 1870 through 2006 as a proxy for the number of works created, we considered how four variables, population, the economy, law changes, and technology influenced subsequent copyright registrations. Based upon this data, our findings cast serious doubt on the idea that with copyright law, one size fits all. While individual law changes may be associated with changes in subsequent copyright registrations, overall, the relationship between law changes and registrations is neither consistent nor completely predictable.

Main Results of the Study

The study examines the relationship of changes in copyright law with respect to individual categories of works, including monographs and sound recordings, and sub-categories of works, such as performing arts.

It considers all 56 congressionally created statutes and Supreme Court decisions that occurred between 1870 and 2006 together with four other concurrent variables; population, the economy, registration fees, and technological change.

The major hypothesisis that any change in copyright protection will result in changes in the number of works produced. The related minor hypotheses are that increasing copyright protection will increase the number of works produced and—its corollary—that decreasing copyright protection will reduce the number of works produced.

Findings demonstrate that the historic long-run growth in new copyrighted works is largely a function of population.15 Sharp changes are mostly due to procedural shifts in copyright registration, such as those created by the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988.

Statistical analysis and demonstrated that one cannot predict when a legal change will be associated with a change in copyright registrations

Finally concluded with 4 ways to increase creative output. 1. Improve likelyhood of success 2. Reduce cost of creation 3. Recgnise saliency and optimism bias and 4. Genuinely value creativity and the arts. In particular, composers, higher-income musicians, and to a lesser extent rock and pop musicians earn a larger share of their revenue from sources directly related to copyright.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

Author suggested that creation should be made easier and less costly which would suggest that policies which would facilitate creation would aid in the creation of new works and knowledge.


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)?
Green-tick.png
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
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: 6
Level of aggregation: Copyright registrations
Period of material under study: 1870-2006