Remix Rights and Negotiations Over the Use of Copy-Protected Works

22 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2014 Last revised: 22 Feb 2023

See all articles by Joshua S. Gans

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

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Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

This paper examines an environment where original content can be remixed by follow-on creators. The modelling innovation is to assume that original content creators and remixers can negotiate over the ‘amount’ of original content that is used by the follow-on creator in the shadow of various rights regimes. The following results are demonstrated. First, traditional copyright protection where the original content creators can block any use of their content provides more incentives for content creators and also more remixing than no copyright protection. This is because that regime incentivises original content creators to consider the value of remixing and permit it in negotiations. Second, fair use can improve on traditional copyright protection in some instances by mitigating potential hold-up of follow-on creators by original content providers. Finally, remix rights can significantly avoid the need for any negotiations over use by granting those rights to follow-on innovators in return for a set compensation regime. However, while these rights are sometimes optimal when the returns to remixing are relatively low, standard copyright protection can afford more opportunities to engage in remixing when remixing returns are relatively high.

Suggested Citation

Gans, Joshua S., Remix Rights and Negotiations Over the Use of Copy-Protected Works (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20364, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2478528

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

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