Handbook on the Economics of Copyright

Handbook on the Economics of Copyright

A Guide for Students and Teachers

Elgar original reference

Edited by Richard Watt

Featuring expert contributors from around the world, this book offers insight into the vital theoretical and practical aspects of the economics of copyright. Topics discussed include fair use, performers’ rights, copyright and trade, online music streaming, internet piracy, copyright and visual art markets, and open source publishing. In addition to in-depth coverage of these timely topics, the authors also offer insightful predictions and policy recommendations for the future.

Chapter 15: Effectiveness of government anti-piracy enforcement policy: commitment versus non-commitment

Dyuti S. Banerjee

Subjects: economics and finance, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law


The existing literature on piracy can be broadly classified into two categories. The main focus of this literature has been on end-user piracy where consumers make copies of copyrighted products for personal consumption. However, there is an emerging literature that addresses the issue of commercial or retail piracy where copies of copyrighted products are illegally sold in the market. The enormity of commercial piracy is such that the US Trade Representative in its 2004 Special 301 Report, a trade sanction tailored for intellectual property trade concerns, posited that ‘ineffective enforcement of intellectual property rights, commercial piracy – in particular the growing problem of pirate production of optical media such as CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs, . . . continue to be a global threat’. Government enforcement organizations like the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP)were launched by the Bush administration in October 2004 to combat commercial piracy. Given this increased attention to commercial piracy, in this chapter we evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of government enforcement to counter piracy. Specifically, the government’s enforcement strategy is in the form of monitoring the illegal sale of copies of copyrighted products. Intellectual Property Right (IPR) protection has two components. While the legal institutions are responsible for setting the penalties for selling pirated products, it is the government’s law enforcement agencies like the police force that are responsible for enforcing IPR protection through monitoring.

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