Copyright Duration and the Supply of Creative Work
29 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2006
Date Written: September 2006
At various dates between 1991-2002, nineteen OECD countries extended the duration of copyright, typically from the author's life plus 50 years to author's life plus 70 years. We study the impact of the extensions on the production of movies.
We find that the extensions were associated with an increase in movie production ranging between 8.51% (±4.60%) and 10.4% (±4.89%). The increase was higher in countries where piracy was lower.
These findings were robust to various specifications, including concomitant changes in government funding of movie production.
The extension of copyright duration applied retrospectively to owners of existing film libraries and might have reduced their cost of capital. However, studios with larger libraries did not increase movie production relatively more than smaller studios.
Our results suggest that contrary to received thinking among leading economists and lawyers, extensions of copyright duration far in the future did have economically significant effects on the production of movies.
Keywords: copyright, empirical, movies, duration
JEL Classification: K12, O34, Z10
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