Contracting About the Future: Copyright and New Media
48 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2012 Last revised: 6 Jan 2013
Date Written: August 26, 2012
In order to deal with the problems of bargaining asymmetry and predicting the future success of creative works, United States copyright law has instated author termination rights. Alternatively, some legal systems prevent authors from licensing the rights to unknown uses of their work. This paper analyzes the distributional reasoning behind this approach from a law and economics perspective. It finds that wealth distribution is likely to be unfavorable to authors without intervention, but also that restricting new-use-right grants may not achieve the intended goal of reallocation. Although the analysis does not aim to determine the optimal design of new-use-right laws, its conclusions may grant helpful insights and provide a sensible direction for further research and policy discussion.
Keywords: Intellectual property, copyright, law & economics, new media, contracts, comparative and international law, author protection, wealth distribution, transaction costs
JEL Classification: K12, D6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation