|Title:||Economic Effects of Copyright: The Empirical Evidence So Far|
|Citation:||Handke, C. (2011). Economic Effects of Copyright: The Empirical Evidence So Far. Commissioned paper prepared for The Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Erickson, Kretschmer and Mendis (2013), Reimers (2019)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||This report focuses on the quantitative-empirical literature that is based on economic theory. The net is cast widely in the sense that some papers from closely related academic disciplines such as a business and management are included.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
This is a survey of the empirical, economic literature on copyright and unauthorized copying, conducted on behalf ofthe National Academies of the Sciences. The purpose is to identify areas for further research that could inform copyright policy. Copyright defines the rough equivalent to property in many literary, scientific and artistic creations. The copyright system is a central component ofthe creative industries, including suppliers of computer software, movies, books, newspapers and magazines or recorded music among others. Copyright is also a major influence on the formation of so-called ‘digital’ markets for information goods and services, affecting much ofthe IT sector. Even though copyright has been part of US federal law for over 200 years and similar arrangements existed even longer in major European countries there is relatively little systematic, empirical evidence on the economic effects of copyright. If anything, that should make the studies reviewed here more valuable. The structure ofthis report derives from the following basic economic analysis
Main Results of the Study
- The effect of file sharing on the copyright industries are varied depending on industry. There is some evidence that it has decreased revenues in the music industry while other industries like film or software seem relatively unaffected.
- File sharing does have a positive effect in disseminating copyrighted material to a wider potential audience.
- Distinguishes between the effects of file sharing on well-known incumbents versus relatively unknown artists in the music industry. Incumbents are negatively affected by file sharing while new comers benefit from the dissemination of their music through file sharing and thus their overall income is unaffected if not slightly higher due to file sharing.
- Overall, according to some papers regarding the costs and benefits of file sharing, there does seem to be a higher overall welfare benefit for consumers then there is a welfare/income loss to creators/producers.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- File sharing and technological improvements in general have varied effects depending on the type of copyright industry, suggesting that the laws should vary by industry also. - Need for comprehensive and balanced anslysis along with precice empirical estimates of various costs and benefits, which highlights the need for independent research.