Copyright Infringement Markets

43 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2013 Last revised: 1 Apr 2013

Date Written: February 13, 2013


Should copyright infringement claims be treated as marketable assets? Copyright law has long emphasized the free and independent alienability of its exclusive rights. Yet, the right to sue for infringement — that copyright law simultaneously grants authors in order to render its exclusive rights operational — has never been thought of as independently assignable, or indeed as the target of investments by third parties. As a result, discussions of copyright law and policy rarely ever consider the possibility of an acquisition or investment market emerging for actionable copyright claims, and the advantages that such a market might hold for copyright’s goals, objectives and functioning. This Essay analyzes the opportunities and challenges presented by an independent market for copyright claims, and argues that copyright law, policy, and practice would stand to benefit from the regulated involvement of third parties in acquiring, financing, bringing, and defending infringement claims.

Keywords: copyright law, litigation funding, litigation costs

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Balganesh, Shyamkrishna, Copyright Infringement Markets (February 13, 2013). Columbia Law Review, Vol. 113, 2013, Forthcoming , U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 13-7, Available at SSRN:

Shyamkrishna Balganesh (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States


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