Ruth Towse: The impact of digitization on copyright collecting societies

Professor Ruth Towse presented the paper ‘The impact of digitization on copyright collecting societies’ at the European Policy for IP (EPIP) Conference 4-5 September, Brussels.

The established view of copyright collecting societies on the part of copyright economists, the courts and regulators is that their natural monopoly is justified on efficiency grounds. Besides its effects on markets for music, digitization has had a profound effect on the management of musical copyrights in terms of data requirements and the vastly increased volume of transactions: both have raised net costs of administration. Using UK data in musical performing rights, this paper asks if the argument for single national collective rights management using blanket licensing still holds up or if competition would be more efficient.

Download the paper here.