Media, Technology and Copyright

Media, Technology and Copyright

Integrating Law and Economics

Michael A. Einhorn

Media, Technology and Copyright is an interdisciplinary work that applies economic theory to central topical issues in the law of intellectual property. Based on the author's professional experience as a professor, lecturer, and consultant, the volume represents the first full-length consideration of the diverse topics of law and copyright by a professional economist.

Chapter 7: Software, Search and Data

Michael A. Einhorn

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, information and media law, intellectual property law


7.1 INTRODUCTION The domain of intellectual property (IP) is of primary importance in the areas of information and software, where consumers can easily access great amounts of data, crawl the web and deploy sophisticated programs to create, calculate and organize new information. Any of these undertakings implicates a wide range of human efforts related to great intellectual creativity and ‘sweat of the brow’, and everything between. Moreover, creative efforts face the considerable problem that the risk of unauthorized taking increases substantially with digital technology, and producer incentives can be gravely harmed if law is not duly protective. However, an overly restrictive regime for intellectual property may overly discourage secondary uses, promulgating a long-run loss in social wealth and intelligence that can be both considerable and nonquantifiable. This chapter will gauge the economic rationality of a number of recent IP cases that involve topics in software interoperability, copyright misuse, antitrust, data protection and search. We judge outcomes by four economic criteria: 1. The market may have the capacity to accommodate the use through licensing or market exchange, reducing the need for courts to take a hand. However, when licensing difficulties are expected, court interference may be necessary to secure rights and enable exchange. 2. The market may have reduced ability to provide for licensing, but may nonetheless compel actors to behave innovatively to ‘win the field’ from competing rivals. Forced exchange or cooperation may appropriate just rewards, and actually dampen the incentive to innovate and improve products. 3. Particularly with regard...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information