Ruth Towse: “Figuring it out: applying economics to copyright royalty rates for streamed music”

Working Paper No. 05-2020

July 2020

Music streaming burst into economists’ (and others’) consciousness with the Napster case. A few economists had written on copyright in the 1980s and a wider interest in the economics of digital production came from Shapiro and Varian’s book (albeit with little said on the role of copyright law). Still very much a minority interest, economics of copyright has established itself and produced a small literature applying it in practice to streamed music, the topic of this working paper.

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