|Title:||A better copyright system? Comparing welfare of indefinitely renewable copyright versus fixed-length copyright|
|Author(s):||Michael Y. Yuan|
|Citation:||Yuan, Michael Y. A better copyright system? comparing welfare of indefinitely renewable copyright versus fixed-length copyright. Econ. Innov. New Techn. 15.6 (2006): 519-542.|
|Link(s):||Definitive Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||This study compares two copyright systems: one of fixed term copyright and one of infinitely renewable copyright. The authors propose an economic model to ascertain the optimum level of copyright. The study also utilises a literature review of studies from 1985 to 2005.|
|Data Type:||Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
This study models and simulates fixed-length copyright (FLC) and indefinitely renewable copyright (IRC) and compares their social welfare. Evidence is found suggesting that IRC has lower maximal social welfare than FLC does. This difference can be explained by the way copyright duration is determined. Copyright duration represents the balance between encouraging creation and reducing restrictions on the consumption of information products. Under FLC, copyright duration is chosen directly by legislation; under IRC, it is induced indirectly through a copyright fee. However, the imposition of a copyright fee distorts the behavior of creators and thus decreases social welfare.
Main Results of the Study
This study models the market of information products under FLC and under IRC. The models describe competition in both creation and production of information products and capture the decisions on pricing, number of first-copy products, and entry of creators. The simulations showthat IRC can increase social welfare if the copyright length ofFLCis not set optimally and is within certain range of excessive length. However, if both FLC and IRC can be configured optimally, then IRC reduces social welfare. It is suggested that IRC is the third-best solution and FLC is the second-best solution to the problem of high creative cost and low reproduction cost of information products. Under FLC, copyright length is set directly to balance the needs of encouraging creation and reducing restrictions on consumption. IRC attempts to indirectly induce a copyright length through a copyright fee. However, the fee distorts the behavior of the creators.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- Fixed length copyright (FLC) may have higher social welfare than Infinitely Renewable Copyright (IRC) if FLC is configured optimally (at far lower than the current life plus 70 years in many jurisdictions).
- A fee to re-register copyright in IRC would limit the number of re-registrations and may lead to less works in copyright overall, leading to greater social welfare for consumers.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Copyright systems|
|Period of material under study:||1985 to 2005|