Digitization, Copyright, and the Flow of New Music Products
Joel Waldfogel, University of Minnesota and NBER, USA
Copyright protection grants creators monopolies – with their attendant harms – in order to provide incentives for continued creation. File sharing, which exploded with Napster’s appearance in 1999, effectively weakened copyright protection. Researchers have documented depressing effects of file sharing on demand, but what is arguably more important are the possibly curtailed incentives to bring new creative products to market. At the same time that technological change has weakened effective copyright protection, other innovations have reduced the costs of production, promotion, and distribution, making it unclear ...