Towse (2016)

From Copyright Evidence
Jump to: navigation, search

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

Towse (2016)
Title: Copyright Auctions and the Asset Value of a Copyright Work
Author(s): Ruth Towse
Year: 2016
Citation: Towse, R. (2016) Copyright Auctions and the Asset Value of a Copyright Work. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues. 13(2), pp83-99
Link(s): Open Access
Key Related Studies:
  • Towse (2016)
Discipline:
Linked by: Towse (2016)
About the Data
Data Description: The research examines “copyright auctions” (of engraved plates of musical works which also confer a copyright in that work) from the Puttick and Simpsons auction house from 1794-1960. Prices are obtained from the study of a musicologist James Coover (1983) who reported on the selling price of the lots, the author noting that these figures tend to be skewed towards the exceptional (and therefore inflated figures are anticipated); figures from the LRP-SLAS data from 1865 are also included. The figures reported at the time have been converted into GBP value at 2015.
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:
  • 1794-1960
Funder(s):
  • AHRC

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.”

Main Results of the Study

The research finds that an analysis of historical “copyright auctions” is a reliable means of establishing the true asset value of copyright works; as the copper plates which were purchased at these auctions also confer a copyright to the purchaser (a business to business transaction), these are indicative of the overall publishing asset value.

Works appeared to devalue based on lack of cultural appeal, noting that Virginia Gabriel’s ‘Cleansing Fires’ consistently held its value from 1889 until 1895, and declining sharply in 1904 (as the work would still be in copyright at this point, this is not an explanatory factor). Other works that fell into the public domain, namely Blockey’s ‘An Arab’s Farewell to his Favourite Steed’, held great value upon the authors death before inexplicably decreasing years later (again suggesting that copyright is not an explanatory factor).

The price paid for historical musical works is overall surprisingly high (noting that the author recognises the potential for skewing based on the primary data). The highest figure paid for a work in the dataset was in 1898, in respect of Macheroni’s ‘For All Eternity’ (£262,261 in 2015 value).

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

The research does not state any policy implications, but rather an overview of the historical asset value of musical works, and a means of measuring this from an economic perspective. The author does suggest that this historical evidence appears to point to many possible explanatory factors for the increase or decrease in value of a musical work, which is not explained by copyright.


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)
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)
Green-tick.png
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets