|Title:||Copyright Reversion in The Creative Industries: Economics and Fair Remuneration|
|Citation:||Towse (2018) Copyright Reversion in The Creative Industries: Economics and Fair Remuneration. 41 Colum J.L. & Arts 467|
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|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study consists of a literature review of recent economic research on labour markets in the creative industries and the economics of contracts.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
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|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
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“The European Commission proposal to harmonize fair remuneration in Member States in EC “on copyright in the Digital Single Market” included the proposal to harmonize a right to contract reversion. Fair remuneration is an ambiguous concept for economists: some EC documents imply the policy is required fo efficiency purposes, and in others, purely for equity reasons. Copyright to an extent attempts to deal with both and also at times confuses the two. This article tries to disentangle these issues.
Research commissioned by the European Union (the “EU”) prior to the proposal concentrated on the legal aspects rather than on the impact on markets. It would have benefitted from recent work in law and economics and in economics on reversionary rights as well as to a well-established body of research in cultural economics on labour markets of authors and performers in the cultural and media industries. That work shows both the variety of influences on motivation, incentives and contracts for creators, as well as exposing the difficulties of empirical research in this area.
The article discusses work that has been done in economics dealing with copyright contracts and with reversion and considers the contribution studies on labour markets in the creative industries could make to the policy proposals on fair remuneration for creators and performers.
Main Results of the Study
• Most markets operate with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ set of terms and conditions, with royalty rates being offered by the industry side to the author or performer.
• Copyright law may not be best suited to resolving the problem of fair remuneration (perhaps competition), given the lack of evidence on how copyright impacts the terms of contracts.
• Whilst reversion rights may improve availability of works, this does not appear to improve efficiency or motivate creators to increase their efforts in making new or better works. Instead, increasing evidence emphasises the intrinsic motivations of authors, who may not be incentivised by the prospect of financial award.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study does not make any explicit policy suggestions, but instead queries whether copyright law alone can make contracts fairer by altering incentives (i.e. through fair remuneration).
Coverage of Study