The Myth of Copyright Inefficiency
7 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2009
Date Written: Spring 2009
Economic analysis of copyrights and patents focuses on the balance of the incentive/access tradeoff — that is, does the public benefit from the financial incentive provided to innovators who get (for a limited time) exclusive right over their creation offset the public loss from limiting public access to that creation? This paper examines that tradeoff in the context of book copyright and finds, surprisingly, that book copyright raise the price of books little, if at all, and accordingly that there is little, if any, monopoly deadweight losses. Whatever rents are created by book copyrights appear to go almost entirely to the authors, as the creators of copyright intended.
Keywords: copyright law, copyright monopoly, copyright rents, IP law, intelectual property
JEL Classification: K11, K19, D42, D40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation