Liebowitz (1985)

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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

Liebowitz (1985)
Title: Copying and Indirect Appropriability: Photocopying of Journals
Author(s): Liebowitz, S. J.
Year: 1985
Citation: Liebowitz, S. J. (1985). Copying and indirect appropriability: Photocopying of journals. The Journal of Political Economy, 945-957.
Link(s): Definitive
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by: Belleflamme (2002), Boldrin and Levine (2005), Domon, Melcarne and Ramello (2019), Ghose, Smith and Telang (2006), Liebowitz (2004), Liebowitz (2006a), Peitz and Waelbroeck (2006b), Piolatto and Schuett (2012), Smith and Telang (2012), Takeyama (1994), Waldfogel (2009), Watt (2009), Yoon (2002)
About the Data
Data Description: Data for a sample of 80 economics journals were collected; these data included institutional and individual subscription prices in both 1959 and 1982, the number of citations received by each journal, the age of the journal, and the type of publisher.

Trends in library expenditures for American academic libraries were examined for the time period 1941-81 using 'College and University Library Statistics', published by College and Research Libraries (data covered the period 1941-53) and the Bowker Annual 1970-82 (data covered the period 1959-81). No data was available for 1934-58.

PhD estmiates were derived from US Statistical abstracts. Data on the number of photocopiers appear to have been obtained from Xerox - possibly from their annual reports. The author does not state a specific source for this data.

Data Type: Primary and Secondary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: Yes
Literature review?:
Government or policy study?:
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • Not stated.
Funder(s):
  • Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the University of Rochester

Abstract

Creators and owners of intellectual properties are alarmed by the growth of technologies that ease the task of copying these properties. This paper, however, shows that the unauthorized copying of intellectual properties need not be harmful and actually may be beneficial. The empirical impact of photocopying on publishers of journals is examined in an attempt to discover if publishers can indirectly appropriate revenues from users who are not original purchasers. The evidence indicates that publishers can indirectly appropriate revenues from users who do not directly purchase journals and that photocopying has not harmed journal publishers.

Main Results of the Study

Main results:

  • Photocopying has not had a detrimental effect on publishers.
  • The pricing of commercial publishers is significantly more discriminatory than non-commercial publishers.
  • The age of the journal has little clear effect on the degree of price discrimination.
  • The existence of indirect appropriability is confirmed: the more intensive use of journal in libraries allows publishers to raise the price charged to libraries.
  • There is evidence that photocopying increased the price paid by libraries for journals relative to the price paid by individuals.
  • The emrgence of price discrimination was not limited to economics journals.
  • Growth in reprography has not coincided with a period of decline for journals.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

Policy implications:

  • The debate between publishers and users regarding photocopying's influence on publisher evenues has neglected important economic factors such as indirect appropriability, exposure effects, and price discrimination.
  • The determination of photocopying's impact is a complex problem that cannot be determined without resorting to empirical evidence.
  • Dicussions of policy have generally assumed that unauthorised copying must be harmful to copyright owners and have tried to weigh the harm to copyright owners from unauthorised photocopying against the gain to users.
  • Recent attempts promoting clearinghouses to make the collection of copyright payments more economic may be as possibly redundant or unnecessary.
  • With indirect appropriability, fair users may pay for their use of the intellectual product (albeit indirectly) just as other users pay, which has implications for fair use.
  • Copying using other technologies may or may not have impacts similar to those found for photocopying.


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)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Green-tick.png
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

Sample size: 80
Level of aggregation: Academic Journals
Period of material under study: 1959-1982