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Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing†

Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing† AbstractTaking works off copyright promotes their availability, but it also allows generic entry to dissipate producer surplus. This paper examines the effect of a copyright on the availability and price of books when incentives to create new works are not affected. Evaluating the welfare impact of the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, I find that a copyright significantly limits the availability of works, leading to a decrease in consumer surplus, which is significantly larger than any increases in profits to copyright holders. Without changing incentives to create new content, the copyright extension was economically inefficient. (JEL L11, L17, L82, O34) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Microeconomics American Economic Association

Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing†

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 © American Economic Association
ISSN
1945-7685
DOI
10.1257/mic.20170100
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractTaking works off copyright promotes their availability, but it also allows generic entry to dissipate producer surplus. This paper examines the effect of a copyright on the availability and price of books when incentives to create new works are not affected. Evaluating the welfare impact of the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, I find that a copyright significantly limits the availability of works, leading to a decrease in consumer surplus, which is significantly larger than any increases in profits to copyright holders. Without changing incentives to create new content, the copyright extension was economically inefficient. (JEL L11, L17, L82, O34)

Journal

American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Aug 1, 2019

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