nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒23
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. A model of music piracy with popularity-dependent copying costs By Florian Schuett; Amedeo Piolatto
  2. Artistic Creation and Intellectual Property: A Professional Career Approach By Francisco Alcalá; Miguel González-Maestre
  3. The Demand for Theatre. A Microeconomic Approach to the Italian Case By Concetta Castiglione
  4. The Economics of Life ++ - Reflections on the Term of Copyright By Ejan Mackaay

  1. By: Florian Schuett (University of Tilburg); Amedeo Piolatto (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: Anecdotal evidence and recent empirical work suggest that musicpiracy has differential effects on artists depending on their popularity.Existing theoretical literature cannot explain such differential effectssince it is exclusively concerned with single-firm models. We present amodel with two types of artists who differ in their popularity. Weassume that the consumers' costs of illegal downloads increase withthe scarcity of a recording, and that scarcity is negatively related to theartist's popularity. Moreover, we allow for a second source of revenuesfor artists apart from CD sales. These alternative revenues depend onan artist's recognition as measured by the number of consumers whoobtain his recording either by purchasing the original or downloadinga copy. Our findings for the more popular artist generalize a resultfound by Gayer and Shy (2006) who show that piracy is beneficial tothe artist when alternative revenues are important. In our model,however, this does not carry over to the less popular artist, who isoften harmed by piracy even when alternative revenues are important.We conclude that piracy tends to reduce musical variety.
    Keywords: piracy, file sharing, heterogeneous artists.
    JEL: L82 K42
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Francisco Alcalá; Miguel González-Maestre
    Date: 2011–04–14
  3. By: Concetta Castiglione (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper examines theatre participation in Italy over the period 1995–2006. Explanatory variables are determined by identifying their contributions to both the individual’s decision to attend, and the frequency of attendance. Socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics, cultural capital, participation in other cultural activities, ticket price and theatre supply are taken into account. Three different models are used: the logistic regression model, the ordered logistic regression model and the finite mixture model. In the first two cases the contribution of each variable is not so different, in the case of finite mixture model the significance of the variables is not the same in the two components. For instance, the variable education, a proxy for cultural capital, is always significant in determining participation, but not in frequency of participation. In general, our results show that participation is not specific to a particular theatrical event since people who attend one arts activity are more likely to attend others. Finally, our results show that traditional socio-economic variables such as income and education are highly correlated with participation in the arts.
    Keywords: Demand, Arts participation, Theatre, Italy.
    JEL: Z11 L32 L82 D12
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Ejan Mackaay
    Abstract: Copyright, and indeed all intellectual property, reflects a compromise between the need for reward on creations we see – by reserving them to the creator – and the need to let information freely flow so as to permit further creations to emerge with as few encumbrances as possible. Over the past quarter century or so, all parameters of copyright have been moved towards more protection, disturbing the underlying compromise. The term of protection extends well beyond what is practically useful for the vast majority of creators, much as it may serve the needs of a small number of large players who hold important older copyrights still producing revenue. This paradoxical situation results from a few founding principles considered untouchable in the countries members of the Berne Convention: it is automatically obtained, without formality and for a uniform and rather lengthy term. If we want to redress the balance underlying copyright, we may have to call these principles into question and lead creators individually to reveal the value they attach to their right by renewing it, allowing it to lapse into the public domain when they no longer value it. Whilst this would reintroduce formalities into the structure of copyright, technological advances may make these less of a burden than they were at the time of their abolition. Alternatively, one might consider an interpretation of equitable exceptions to copyright (such as fair use and fair dealing) so as to expand them gradually as the copyright in question ages. Such approaches would have the fortunate effect of avoiding that lobbying by the happy few needlessly locks up culture for most of us. <P>Le droit d'auteur, et à vrai dire tous les droits intellectuels, reflète un compromis entre la nécessité de faire miroiter au créateur une rémunération pour les créations que l'on voit, et la nécessité de laisser l'information circuler librement de manière à permettre à de nouvelles créations d'émerger avec aussi peu d'obstacles que possible. Au cours du dernier quart de siècle ou à peu près, tous les paramètres du droit d'auteur ont été déplacés vers plus de protection, perturbant l'équilibre sous-jacent. La durée de protection s'étend bien au-delà de ce qui est nécessaire en pratique pour la très vaste majorité des créateurs, même si elle sert bien les besoins d'une infime minorité de grands joueurs détenant des droits d'auteur qui ont un certain âge mais continuent à produire des revenus. Cette situation résulte des principes tenus pour immuables dans les pays membres de l'Union de Berne : le droit est obtenu automatiquement, sans formalité et pour une période uniforme et de longue durée. Pour redresser l'équilibre sous-jacent au droit d'auteur, il faudra remettre en question ces principes et amener les créateurs individuellement à révéler la valeur qu'ils attachent à leur droit en le renouvelant, permettant que le droit glisse dans le domaine public s'ils n'y attachent plus de valeur suffisante. S'il est vrai qu'une telle approche réintroduirait des formalités dans le droit d'auteur, les avances techniques intervenues depuis leur abolition rendent l'accomplissement de ces formalités moins onéreux que dans le temps. Alternativement, on pourrait envisager une interprétation des exceptions équitables au droit d'auteur, comme le fair use ou l'utilisation équitable, de manière à les étendre à mesure que le droit d'auteur en question prend de l'âge. De telles approches auraient l'heureux effet d'éviter que le lobbying par les happy few entrainerait le verrouillage inutile de beaucoup de culture pour le commun des mortels.
    Keywords: Intellectual property, copyright, term, fair dealing, Propriété intellectuelle, droit d'auteur, durée, utilisation équitable.
    Date: 2011–04–01

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