Of Coase and Comics, or, The Comedy of Copyright
17 Pages Posted: 1 May 2009
Date Written: May 1, 2009
This Essay responds to There’s No Free Laugh (Anymore): The Emergence of Intellectual Property Norms and the Transformation of Stand-Up Comedy, by Dotan Oliar and Christopher Sprigman. It argues that case studies of disciplines and domains that may be governed by intellectual property regimes are invaluable tools for comparative analysis of the respective roles of law and other forms of social order. The Essay examines the case of stand-up comedy under a lens that is somewhat broader than the one used by the authors of the original study, one that takes into account not only the social norms of individual comics themselves but also features of the entertainment market - and particularly the market for record albums - that shaped comics' incentives and behaviors and comic content itself.
Keywords: copyright, social norms, intellectual property, law and economics, emergence of property rights, stand-up comedy, commons, case studies
JEL Classification: D23, K11, L17, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation