Optimal Copyright Over Time: Technological Change and the Stock of Works

14 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2008  

Rufus Pollock

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics

Abstract

The optimal level for copyright has been a matter for extensive debate over the last decade. Using a parsimonious theoretical model this paper contributes several new results of relevance to this debate. In particular we demonstrate that (a) optimal copyright is likely to fall as the production costs of 'originals' decline (for example as a result of digitization) (b) technological change which reduces costs of production may imply an increase or a decrease in optimal levels of protection (this contrasts with a large number of commentators, particularly in the copyright industries, who have argued that such change necessitates increases in protection) (c) the optimal level of copyright will, in general, fall over time as the stock of work increases.

Keywords: Copyright,Technological Change

Suggested Citation

Pollock, Rufus, Optimal Copyright Over Time: Technological Change and the Stock of Works. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 51-64, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1144288

Rufus Pollock (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom

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