Contracting About the Future: Copyright and New Media

48 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2012 Last revised: 6 Jan 2013

See all articles by Kate Darling

Kate Darling

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: August 26, 2012

Abstract

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

Darling, Kate, Contracting About the Future: Copyright and New Media (August 26, 2012). 10 Nw. J. Tech. & Intell. Prop. 485. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2136588

Kate Darling (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - MIT Media Laboratory ( email )

20 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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