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It's called a Principal-Agent Conflict. The RIAA/MPAA act as agents on behalf of the people who actually produce content (and consequently end-consumer value). To maintain relevance to their principals', the RIAA/MPAA must signal value to them (i.e. claim loudly and repeatedly that they do something good for them [regardless of the validity of that claim]). ...

9

The simple answer is that they don't think they would make as much money. In many countries illegally downloading music or movies is getting harder and harder. The recording industry has achieved this by persuading governments to instruct the ISPs to block torrent sites, torrent proxy sites and sites that list proxy sites completely so no one can access ...

7

What I don't see here is an economic model, however rudimentary, that will allow us not to definitely answer the question but to clarify what are the critical issues. So here's one (totally rudimentary): Consider a work of digitized and mass-commercialized content $x$, like a song, a movie, or a book. Assume that in the short run, demand (desire) for it is ...

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There is a large economic literature on intellectual property rights. However, the issue seems far from settled on what even the optimal duration for patents are. Note that open source is even a step further than a 0 day patent duration. A strong case for your view would probably be found in Boldrin/Levine: http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/...

3

The cuisine and fashion industries both largely exist without intellectual property protection other than trademarks (n.b., they can use copyright on certain aspects of their work but this is generally thought to give little protection) yet they seem to flourish. How is this possible? In fashion, it is thought that copying the work of other designers can be ...

3

Background Since the marginal cost of distribution for a creative work such as a song is now essentially zero, the efficient thing to do would be to provide all songs to listeners at a price of zero (i.e. to allow piracy). However, this neglects the fact that producing creative works involves a fixed up-front cost (e.g. studio recording time, or simply the ...

2

I will only address e-books (and other text), and discuss the technical issues. These technical issues make e-books distinct from other electronic media. An e-book is a compressed file that contains what are essentially web pages (each a “chapter”), with meta-data in XML. Typical size is small (a couple megabytes), with size possibly increasing due to images ...

2

Isn't this mostly an issue of pricing at a level where most people feel it's worth paying to avoid the hassle (and potential legal issues) of piracy? Take music singles for example: when I was a teenager (late 90's), a CD single cost £3.99 in the UK. When it became possible to download songs for free that someone else had ripped and uploaded, many people ...

2

Perhaps someone with more expertise on the matter can answer your question more directly, but in the mean time: In the literature on innovation, it is fairly common to use patent data to measure the intensity of innovation activity. Here are Aghion et al (2005) on their approach: "There is a large literature on measuring innovation intensity, with the ...

2

Yes it does. This file goes up to 2015: http://fs2.american.edu/wgp/www/Patent%20index1960%20-%202015.xlsx If this link no longer works, it should be linked from this page: http://fs2.american.edu/wgp/www after the "Research policy" paper.

2

Apparently not. A 2015 article by the author uses his index to evaluate economic growth across country and time, stopping in 2005, same as the index in the original paper. And yet, many of the other variables are in principle available for more recent years. The first best here would be for you to contact the author. He might be in the process of updating ...

1

So suppose there is new technology $A$ that only 1 person has access to. If there are multiple firms with production technology $y=k^\alpha$ then obviously if that new technology was available to them at low/no cost, the overall productivity of society would increase (each firm has $y=Ak^\alpha$) The problem is that it is likely the case that $A$ requires ...

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