Handbook on the Economics of the Internet
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Handbook on the Economics of the Internet

Edited by Johannes M. Bauer and Michael Latzer

As the single most important general purpose technology of recent times, the Internet is transforming the organization, competitive structure and business models of the private, the public and non-profit sectors. In 27 original chapters, leading authors discuss theoretical and applied frameworks for the study of the economics of the Internet and its unique economics as a global information and communications infrastructure. They also examine the effects of the Internet on economic transactions (including social production, advertising, innovation, and intellectual property rights), the economics and management of Internet-based industries (including search, news, entertainment, culture, and virtual worlds), and the effects of the Internet on the economy at large.
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Chapter 11: The economics of copyright and the Internet

Sacha Wunsch-Vincent


Technology and the Internet have triggered important changes to how creative works are created and accessed, and how creators and copyright-based industries generate their revenues. During the past decade, digital content markets have exhibited double-digit growth rates across industry sectors and increasing shares of total revenues. In addition, new types of content, novel content producers and innovative ways of manipulating and modifying digital content are burgeoning. This chapter reassesses the economics of copyright in the light of these changes. It starts with an introduction to the economics of copyright followed by an overview of the changes to the baseline copyright economics model and a summary the existing economic literature and resulting data needs. While this chapter focuses on copyright, it is worthwhile noting that other forms of intellectual property rights (IPRs) such as patents, industrial designs and trademarks also matter in the digital economy, both for physical products such as smartphones and tablet computers and for intangible products such as software and social networks. Furthermore, although this chapter exclusively refers to copyright, it is worthwhile clarifying that in addition to copyright vested in authors, international treaties also recognize related rights, vested in performers, phonogram producers and broadcasting organizations.

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