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Copyright, Digitization, and Aggregation

Lesley Chiou

Occidental College - Department of Economics

Catherine Tucker

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS)

December 13, 2011

NET Institute Working Paper No. 11-18

The digital revolution means that consumers can now quickly and easily access content that is aggregated from many online sources. However, digital aggregation has tested the boundaries of copyright law. It is not clear whether allowing extracts of copyrighted works to be distributed by others benefits or harms copyright holders. We ask whether digital aggregation encourages users to "skim" or to investigate content in depth. We exploit a contract dispute that led a major aggregator to remove information from a content provider. We find that after the removal, users were less likely to investigate additional content in depth. The relaxation of copyright protection benefited horizontally or vertically differentiated content the most.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: digitization, information, consumer search, online, Internet

JEL Classification: L86

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Date posted: June 13, 2011 ; Last revised: October 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Chiou, Lesley and Tucker, Catherine, Copyright, Digitization, and Aggregation (December 13, 2011). NET Institute Working Paper No. 11-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1864203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1864203

Contact Information

Lesley Chiou (Contact Author)
Occidental College - Department of Economics ( email )
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.faculty.oxy.edu/lchiou
Catherine Tucker
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Management Science (MS) ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
HOME PAGE: http://cetucker.scripts.mit.edu
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