Png (2006)

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

Png (2006)
Title: Copyright: A Plea for Empirical Research
Author(s): Png, I.P.
Year: 2006
Citation: Png, I. P. (2006). Copyright: A plea for empirical research. Available at SSRN 931587.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by: Handke (2012a), Lee (2011)
About the Data
Data Description: The data can be summarised as follows:
  • The International Publishers Association (IPA) provides annual statistics on titles published in various countries from 1990-1999. The IPA provides complete coverage for only 13 countries, viz., Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. The IPA obtained the data from its national member organizations.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides statistics on titles published for a broader set of countries (Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Lithuania, Morocco, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Macedonia, and Turkey), but for a shorter time period, 1995-1999. The UNESCO website does not disclose the primary sources of the data.
  • The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) provides annual statistics of aggregate sales of recorded music (both unit volume and monetary value) for 70 countries. However, IFPI does not report information on the number of titles. The IFPI information is provided by its national member organizations. Accordingly, the coverage of the IFPI statistics depends on the degree to which the various national member organizations provide representative information. For instance, in the case of the United States, “data is collected from RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) member companies that distribute approximately 84% of the prerecorded music” (RIAA 2006).
Data Type: Primary and Secondary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: Yes
Comparative Study?: Yes
Literature review?: Yes
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 1990-1999
  • 1995-1999
  • Not stated
Funder(s):

Abstract

I review empirical research into the economic impact of copyright law. A key difficulty is that there is little systematic measurement of creative output and copying: there are only fragmentary statistics for the various industries.

Studies of U.S. copyright registrations provide conflicting results: one shows that small changes in fees have large impacts on renewals, while another shows that many movies and books have long lives. All but one studies find that music piracy — whether conventional or digital — has hurt legitimate CD sales. Studies of extensions of copyright duration yield conflicting results: one focusing on U.S. registrations finds no effect, while a multi-country study finds that extensions are associated with substantial increases in movie production.

I conclude with directions for future empirical research.

Main Results of the Study

  • The coverage of the IPA and UNESCO statistics overlap for five countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, and Switzerland. For these five countries, correlation between the IPA and UNESCO numbers over the period 1995-1999 ranged from – 57% (Norway) to 99.5% (Hungary), with an average of 32%.
  • What is most urgently needed is accurate statistics of the creation of three categories of copyrightable items – books, recorded music, and electronic games – across countries in recent years. Unfortunately, despite its importance, such work is relatively unglamorous. The best hope is that the relevant industry associations and possibly international organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) can be persuaded to collect and publish these statistics.


Policy Implications as Stated By Author

This study contains numerous policy implications:

  • With regard to the fundamental trade-off of intellectual property, there has been no study at all of the “costs of limiting access to a work” (Landes and Posner 1989) – with regard to both end-use and follow-on creation.
  • A key cost of copyright is the impediment to future creators.
  • We need research into the costs of tracing, transactions, and enforcement involved in the administration of copyright. The magnitude of these costs is crucial to the question of whether copyright should be for fixed term or indefinite (Landes and Posner 2003). In particular, it would be interesting to measure the contribution of collecting societies towards reducing the costs of copyright administration. A study of U.K. copyright cases suggests that bigger companies are relatively more involved in copyright litigation (Mazeh and Rogers 2005). However, is this because of fixed costs of copyright litigation or because bigger companies have more copyrights to enforce?
  • We need empirical research into the different impact of copyright law on the various categories of creative work. For instance, Landes and Posner (1989) observe that the possible range of popular songs is more limited than of other creative work, and so, support stronger copyright protection for song-writers. To support such differentiation in copyright law, it is necessary to have the appropriate empirical justification.

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)
Green-tick.png

Datasets

Sample size: 13
Level of aggregation: Country
Period of material under study: 1990-1999


Sample size: 25
Level of aggregation: Country
Period of material under study: 1995-1999


Sample size: 70
Level of aggregation: Country
Period of material under study: Not stated