Copyright Protection? Economic Sense?
Via John Battelle: See this Brookings Institute paper which concludes that copyright protection does not make good economic sense.
...not only may copyright law’s prohibition against unauthorized copying (17 U.S.C. §106) not be necessary to stimulate an optimal level of new creations, but that §106 appears to have a net negative effect on such output! It observes that the higher revenues that §106 generates for popular creations are, in the lottery-like entertainment markets, generally used for promotional efforts (rent seeking), and that such marketing crowds out many borderline creations. The article also identifies and explains how new technologies and social norms provide many viable business models for financing new creations relying on only a heavily abridged version of §106. Hence, the article questions whether the current §106 [copyright regime] could survive the intermediate scrutiny standards of the First Amendment, given the lack of evidence that the benefits of §106 exceed its costs.
Since they are talking about the economic sense of analog copyright, I would venture that it's possible that an entirely new conception of copyrights might (see Taking the Copy Out of Copyright or here - pdf by Miller/Feigenbaum) help us, something that reflects this new digital world and the issues we face here that are so different than in the analog world. Essentially, digital copyright.
Here is a /. discussion of the paper.
Posted by Mary Hodder at February 7, 2003 08:13 AM