Law and Economics in Cyberspace: Napster and Beyond

University of Siena Working Paper

Posted: 24 Jul 2001

See all articles by Antonio Nicita

Antonio Nicita

University of Siena - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2001


The article will outline the economics of copyright and exclusive distribution of contents in Internet, assessing economic cost and benefits deriving from the application of standard economic and legal principles to Internet distribution. After having outlined the terms of the debate on the economics of Napster and other similar sites, the article suggests new policy options enhancing social efficiency in the Internet: (i) revising legal safeguards for intellectual property (the Internet requires to revise scope and breadth of copyrights) and (ii) proposing a direct contact between authors and on-line consumers (for Internet transmission of contents it is not necessary to have a high cost intermediate distributors as the main majors in cd and video production and distribution).

JEL Classification: D40, K21

Suggested Citation

Nicita, Antonio, Law and Economics in Cyberspace: Napster and Beyond (May 2001). University of Siena Working Paper. Available at SSRN:

Antonio Nicita (Contact Author)

University of Siena - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza S. Francesco, 7
Siena, I-53100

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