Principles for Benchmarking Potentially Alternative Systems of Private Copy Compensation
IE Working Paper No. WP07-16
20 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011
Date Written: November 20, 2007
Private copying is one of the few exceptions to the exclusiveness on their works granted to creators by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Such an exception diminishes the value of IPR-protected works, so IPR regulations need to establish devices by virtue of which creators get compensated for the private copying of their works. The most common device – at least in the EU - consists of charges imposed upon the sale of devices and carriers that are used by consumers in their private copying activities (i.e. the so-called copyright levies). Such system has been strongly criticised, and some alternatives have been proposed and are strongly supported by some constituencies. Legislators seem to be open to amending or substituting the current system, but they face a lack of the analytical tools required to compare the potentially alternative systems.
Current theory provides no clear framework for the analysis of the current system and its potential modifications and/or alternatives. Building upon more general incentive economics theory and on general legal considerations, this paper attempts to build such analytical framework by proposing a set of principles for benchmarking potentially alternative systems of private copy compensation. The paper also offers a brief analysis of the main modifications and alternatives to the current system in light of the above-mentioned principles. The main finding is that, according to the proposed principles, the current system “as is” gets the best appraisal.
Keywords: Intellectual Property, Private Copy, Remuneration, Copyright Levies, Economic Principles.
JEL Classification: O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation