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Piracy of Digital Products: A Critical Review of the Economics Literature

28 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2003  

Martin Peitz

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Patrick Waelbroeck

Telecom ParisTech

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

Digital products have the property that they can be copied almost costlessly. This makes them candidates for non-commercial copying by final consumers. Because the copy of a copy typically does not deteriorate in quality, copying products can become a wide-spread phenomenon - this can be illustrated by the surge of file-sharing networks. In this paper we provide a critical overview of the literature that addresses the economic consequences of end-user copying. We conclude that some models with network effects are well-suited for the analysis of software copying while other models incorporating the feature that copies provide information about the originals may be useful for the analysis of digital music copying.
peer-to-peer, software, music

Keywords: information good, piracy, copyright, internet,

JEL Classification: L11, L82, L86

Suggested Citation

Peitz, Martin and Waelbroeck, Patrick, Piracy of Digital Products: A Critical Review of the Economics Literature (November 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1071. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=466063

Martin Peitz (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany
+49 621 181-1835 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://peitz.vwl.uni-mannheim.de/

Patrick Waelbroeck

Telecom ParisTech ( email )

46 rue Barrault
F-75634 Paris, Cedex 13
France

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