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Creativity, Incentive and Reward

An Economic Analysis of Copyright and Culture in the Information Age

Ruth Towse

Creativity is crucial to the Information Age economy. It is the basis of production in the cultural industries. In this excellent book, Ruth Towse provides an analysis of the interaction between creativity, the law, and markets for cultural goods and services. Copyright law establishes property rights that create economic incentives to cultural production and Ruth Towse uses her analysis to draw conclusions about policy on copyright. This unique study is of interest to a range of disciplines in economics, law, cultural studies and management.
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Ruth Towse


3/8/01 10:32 am Page 1 Epilogue In reviewing my work over the last ten years, I have tried to reconstruct the motives for doing it and the circumstances in which it was done. Which policy issues prompted my choice of topics? What have I learned from this work and where do I see it going in the future? After all, in its own way, academic research is a creative, on-going process of experiment, learning-by-doing, criticism and response. Though most of my research took place in the UK and the findings are specifically about that country, it is concerned with problems common to many other countries. Cultural economics is particularly susceptible to ‘national’ cultural outlook as well as to country-based policy questions, even though its concerns are generally universal. My English background has undoubtedly coloured my outlook to cultural economics and this has become more obvious to me now I work in the Netherlands. Let me give a couple of examples of what I mean by different national perceptions: there has been controversy for at least the last 30 years in the UK about charging entry fees to publicly owned museums, while in the Netherlands entry is routinely charged for without comment; however, private donors and sponsors have financed significant extensions to national museums in the UK without any opposition but private sponsorship of museums is being criticised in the Netherlands. A second example is medical treatment, which in the Netherlands is privately organised, charged for and financed by regulated...

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