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The Copyright-Innovation Trade-Off: Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Intentional Infliction of Harm

71 Pages Posted: 3 May 2012 Last revised: 5 Aug 2012

Dotan Oliar

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: May 2, 2012

Abstract

Should the law secure to copyright owners control over new technological uses of their works? Or should the law leave technological innovators free to explore and exploit such uses? The greater control afforded to copyright owners, the greater the incentive to produce content, but also the greater the disincentive to produce better technologies to enjoy it. This Article studies the degree to which protecting copyright owners or technological innovators by property rules or liability rules over new technological uses of content would drive members of each group to invest desirably in their respective creations and in reducing the interference between their activities.

The Article offers three major contributions: (1) it assesses the degree to which different entitlements promote authorship and innovation as well as investments to minimize the interference between them, (2) it shows that a property rule in technological innovators might drive them to harm copyright owners intentionally, and (3) it suggests a way of modifying legal entitlements that can improve copyright owners and innovators’ incentives to invest.

Keywords: intellectual property, property rules, liability rules, modifiable entitlements, indirect liability, holdup, intentional harm

JEL Classification: K11, K23, K49

Suggested Citation

Oliar, Dotan, The Copyright-Innovation Trade-Off: Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Intentional Infliction of Harm (May 2, 2012). 64 Stan. L. Rev. 951 (2012), Forthcoming; Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2012-06; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2012-40. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2049698

Dotan Oliar (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-3219 (Phone)

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