Short Course – Wednesday 6 February 9:00
Executive Business Centre, Room EB 602
The aim of these lectures is to demystify economics for those specializing in copyright law. Economics has a wide remit and is used in different ways in different contexts, which can be confusing for the uninitiated. The lectures and associated discussions are intended to explain how economics is used in relation to copyright rather than explaining the economic theory itself. Students are therefore not expected to have a prior knowledge of economics.
The lectures are presented in two 2-hours sessions: session 1 deals with the range of economic concepts used in relation to copyright law; session 2 explains how economics can be applied to specific topics in copyright, namely, collecting societies and performers’ rights, topics on which Professor Towse has published.
It is recommended that participants read the two *items in advance and think about the questions for discussion. Other reading is for reference. RERCI is available online via SSRN and www.serci.org
Lecture Outline and reading
9:00 – 11:00 Economic theory of copyright
Different economic theories utilized – micro, macro and welfare economics, transaction costs. Economics of copying/piracy, valuing copyright. Empirical studies.
Questions for discussion:
- How important do you think copyright is as an incentive to create works of art, music, literature etc?
- How important do you think copyright is as a source of income to authors and other creators?
- Do you think the emphasis on economic objectives in discussions of copyright is appropriate?
*Towse, Handke and Stepan (2008) ‘The Economics of Copyright Law: a Stocktake of the Literature’. Review of Economic Research in Copyright Issues, 5 (1) June: pp.1-22.
Watt, Richard (ed) (2014) Handbook of Economics of Copyright A guide for teachers and students, Cheltenham UK and Northampton MA USA: Edward Elgar Publishing, ‘Introduction’ and Chapter 1 ‘The Basic Economic Theory of Copyright’, pp.1-25.
14:00 – 16:00 Application of economics to specific copyright topics in the EU Digital Single Market
Macroeconomic importance of copyright. Collecting societies (CMOs): basic economic rationale for CMOs, blanket licensing, transactional licensing. Performers’ rights: is there an economic rationale?, administration of performers’ rights.
Questions for discussion:
- What do you think are the main arguments for and against collective licensing?
- How do you see the future of payment to creators and performers?
- How do you think markets for the use of creative content will change in the next 5-10 years?
Towse, Ruth (2015) ‘Economics and economic impact of copyright’, in Robert Picard and Steve Wildman International Handbook on the Economics of Media, pp. 328-349
Handke, Christian and Towse, Ruth (2007) ‘Economics of Copyright Collecting Societies’, International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 8/2007 (38); 937-57.
*Towse, Ruth (2013)‘The Economic Effects of Digitization on the Administration of Musical Copyrights’, Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues, 2013, vol. 10(2), pp. 55-67.
Also: chapters 10 and 11 by Richard Watt and Christian Handke on collective administration in Watt, Richard (ed) (2014) Handbook of Economics of Copyright A guide for teachers and students, Cheltenham UK and Northampton MA USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Towse, Ruth (2007) ‘The Singer or the Song? Developments in Performers’ Rights from the Perspective of a Cultural Economist,’ Review of Law & Economics: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 6
Available at: http://www.bepress.com/rle/vol3/iss3/art6. Updated as chapter 8 of Watt, Richard (ed) (2014) Handbook of Economics of Copyright A guide for teachers and students, Cheltenham UK and Northampton MA USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.