Handbook on the Economics of Copyright
Show Less

Handbook on the Economics of Copyright

A Guide for Students and Teachers

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: Copyright collectives: some basic economic theory

Richard Watt


Of all of the aspects of copyright that have most often come under the scrutiny of economists, at the forefront are the existence and activities of copyright collectives – groups of many individual copyright holders that join together for the purposes of exploiting their copyrights collectively (see, for the seminal literature, Hollander (1984), Besen and Kirby (1989) and Besen, Kirby and Salop (1992)). The very institution of copyright itself has often been accused of forming a monopoly since it effectively creates a barrier to entry into the market for supply of access to a particular creative work, and so it is not surprising that when many such copyright holders band together rather than competing individually, monopoly alarm bells begin to ring loud and clear! Clearly, copyright collectives are monopolies, and they do exert monopoly power. And it is well known that the exercise of monopoly power leads to what economists term ‘deadweight losses’, which are irrecoverable losses in social welfare when compared to the utopian state of perfect competition. In spite of the fears of such negative effects for social welfare, it has befallen upon economists to point out that the exploitation of copyrights collectively may actually be better for society than the alternative of individual suppliers all competing for the attention of the users of creative works.

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

or login to access all content.