Economics of Copyright and Copying


Journal articles



Plant, Arnold. 1934. The economic aspects of copyright in books. Economica 1: 167-195.



Hurt, Robert M., and Robert M. Shuchman. 1966. The economic rationale of copyright. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 56: 421-432.



Breyer, Stephen. 1970. The uneasy case for copyright: A study of copyright in books, photocopies and computer programs. Harvard Law Review 84: 281-351. Available from Westlaw.



Tyerman, Barry W. 1971. The economic rationale for copyright protection for published books: A reply to professor breyer. UCLA Law Review 18: 1100-1125.



Breyer, Stephen. 1972. Copyright: A rejoinder. UCLA Law Review 20: 75-83.



Braunstein, Yale M., D. M. Fischer, J. A. Ordover, and W. J. Baumol. 1977. “Economics of Property Rights as Applied to Computer Software and Data Bases” Report to National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU). Available from NTIS. Excerpt reprinted in G. P. Bush & R. H. Dreyfuss, ed., Technology & Copyright (Lomond, 1979). [Strathclyde D 349.1(73)785.8 BUS] Sections I – III of the CONTU final report are available at


Photocopying and fair use: An examination of the economic factor in fair use. 1977. Emory Law Journal 849.



Besen, Stanley M., William G. Manning Jr., and Bridger M. Mitchell. 1978. Copyright liability for cable television: compulsory licensing and the Coase theorem. Journal of Law and Economics 21: 67-95.


Ordover, J., and R. Willig. 1978. On the optimal provision of journals qua sometimes shared goods. American Economic Review 68: 324-338.



Novos, Ian E., and Michael Waldman. 1984. The effects of increased copyright protection: An analytic approach. Journal of Political Economy 92: 236-246.



Johnson, William R. 1985. The economics of copying. Journal of Political Economy 93: 1581-74.


Liebowitz, S. J. 1985. Copying and indirect appropriability: Photocopying of journals. Journal of Political Economy 93: 945-957.


O’Hare, Michael. 1985. Copyright: When is monopoly efficient? Journal of Policy Analysis & Management 4: 407.


Besen, S. 1986. Private copying, reproduction costs, and the supply of intellectual property. Information Economics and Policy 2: 5–22.



Liebowitz, S. J. 1986. Copyright law, photocopying and price discrimination. Research in Law and Economics 8: 181-200.



Liebowitz, S. J. 1987. Some puzzling behavior by owners of intellectual products. Contemporary Policy Issues 5: 44-53.



Besen, Stanley M., and Sheila Nataraj Kirby. 1989. Private copying, appropriability and optimal copying royalties. Journal of Law and Economics 32: 255-280.



Conner, K.,  and R. Rumelt. 1991. Software piracy: An analysis of protection strategies. Management Science 37: 125–139.



Besen, Stanley M., Shelia N. Kirby, and Steven C. Salop. 1992. An economic analysis of copyright collectives. Vanderbilt Law Review 78: 383.


Jussawalla, Meheroo. 1992. The economics of intellectual property in a world without frontiers: A study of computer software. New York: Greenwood Press. [Law D347.8974 JUS]


Oniki, Hajime. 1992. Mathematical appendix. In The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World Without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software, ed. Meheroo Jussawalla (New York: Greenwood Press), 115-135.



Takeyama, L. 1994. The welfare implications of unauthorized reproduction of intellectual property in the presence of demand network externalities. Journal of Industrial Economics 42: 155–166.



Loren, Lydia Pallas 1997. Redefining the market failure approach to fair use in an era of copyright permission systems. Journal of Intellectual Property Law 5: 1-58. Available from Lexis.


Takeyama, L. 1997. The intertemporal consequences of unauthorized reproduction of intellectual property. Journal of Law and Economics 40: 511–522. Available from Westlaw.



Bakos, Yannis, and Erik Brynjolfsson. 1999. Bundling information goods: Pricing, profits, and efficiency. Management Science 45 (12): 1613-1630. Draft available from


Bakos, Yannis, Erik Brynjolfsson, and Douglas Lichtman. 1999. Shared information goods. Journal of Law and Economics 42: 117–155. Available from Westlaw.


Shy, Oz, and Jacques-Francois Thisse. 1999. A strategic approach to software protection. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 8, no. 2: 163–190.



Bakos, Yannis, and Erik Brynjolfsson. 2000. Aggregation and disaggregration of information goods: Implications for bundling, site licensing, and micropayment systems. In Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property, ed. Brian Kahin and Hal R. Varian (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press). Draft available at


Kahin, Brian, and Hal R. Varian, eds. 2000. Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press.


Shy, Oz. 2000. The economics of software protection and other media. In Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property, ed. Brian Kahin and Hal R. Varian (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press).


Varian, H., 2000. Buying, sharing and renting information goods. Journal of Industrial Economics 48, no. 4: 473–488.


Varian, Hal R. 2000. Versioning information goods. In Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property, ed. Brian Kahin and Hal R. Varian (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press). Draft available at


Watt, Richard. 2000. Copyright and Economic Theory: Friends or Foes? Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.



Brennan, David J. 2002. Fair price and public goods: A theory of value applied to retransmission. International Review of Law and Economics 22: 347-375.


Chiang Eric, and Djeto Assane. 2002. Software copyright infringement among college students. Applied Economics 34: 157-166.


Lerner, Josh, and Jean Tirole. 2002. Some simple economics of open source. Journal of Industrial Economics 50, no. 2 (June): 197-234. Previously as NBER Working Paper 7600. Available at


Phillips, Owen R., and Lori J. Phillips. 2002. The market for academic journals. Applied Economics 34: 39-48.


Yoon, Kiho. 2002. The optimal level of copyright protection. Information Economics and Policy 14: 327-348.



Chen, Yeh-ning., and Ivan Png. 2003. Information goods pricing and copyright enforcement: Welfare analysis. Information System Research 14, no. 1 (March).



Working Papers


Alonso, Jorge, and Richard Watt. [2002.] Efficient distribution of copyright revenue.


Alvisi, Matteo, Elena Argentesi, and Emanuela Carbonara. [2002.] Piracy and quality choice in monopolistic markets.


Andrés, Antonio Rodríguez. [2002.] The European software piracy: An empirical application.


Bellefamme, Paul. [2002.] Pricing information goods in the presence of copying.


Ben-Shahar, Danny, and Assaf Jacob. [2001.] Preach for a breach: Selective enforcement of copyrights as an optimal monopolistic behavior.


Bitzer, Jürgen, and Philipp J.H. Schröder. [2002.] Bug-fixing and code-writing: The private provision of open source software.


Chen, Yeh-ning, and Ivan Png. [2002.] Information goods pricing and copyright enforcement: Welfare anlaysis.


Csorba, Gergely. [2002.] Read-only versions for free and for profit: Functional quality diferentiation strategies of a software producing monopoly.


Curry, Philip A. [1998.] Copyright, copy protection and Feist. University of Western Ontario Research Paper No. 9808. Available at


Harbaugh, Rick, and Rahul Khemka. [2000.] Does copyright enforcement encourage piracy?


Hui, Kai Lung, and I. P. L. Png. [2002.] Piracy and the legitimate demand for recorded music.


Johnson, Justin Pappas. [2001.] Economics of open source software.


Kasdan, John [1986.] The economics of copyright with application to licensing. Columbia Law School, Center for Law and Economics Studies Working Paper No. 23.


King, Stephen P., and Ryan Lampe. [In press.] Network externalities, price discrimination and profitable piracy. Information Economics and Policy.


Kirstein, Roland, and Dieter Schmidtchen. [2000.] Do artists benefit from resale royalties? An economic analysis of a new EU directive.


Koboldt, Christian. [1995.] Intellectual property and optimal copyright protection.


Lerner, Josh, and Jean Tirole. [2002.] The scope of open source licensing. NBER Working Paper 9363. Available at


Liebowitz, S. J. [1985.] The economics of Betamax: Unauthorized copying of advertising based television broadcasts.


Liebowitz, Stan. [2002.] Back to the Future: Can copyright owners appropriate revenues in the face of new copying technologies?


Mustonen, Mikko. [In press.] Copyleft—The economics of Linux and other open source software. Information Economics and Policy.


Mustonen, Mikko. [2002.] Why do firms support the development of substitute copyleft programs?


Parisi, Francesco, and Ben Depoorter. [2002.] The market for intellectual property: The case of complementary oligopoly. George Mason University School of Law, Law and Economics Working Paper Series No. 02-19.


Poddar, Sougata. [2002.] Economics of software piracy and it’s global impact. Available at


Regner, Tobias. [2002.] Innovation of music.


Riis, Thomas. [2002.] Economic impact of the protection of unoriginal databases in developing countries and countries in transition. Study prepared for 7th Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, World Intellectual Property Organnization, Geneva, 13-17 May.


Rochelandet, Fabrice. [2002.] Are copyright collecting societies efficient? An evaluation of collective administration of copyright in Europe.


Subramanian, P. [2000.] Three essays in microeconomics: Uncertain innovation in the presence of network externalities, Copyleft: An R&D game with network externalities, Imperfect recall in a model of search. Dissertation, Princeton University.


Takeyama, Lisa N. [2002.] Piracy, asymmetric information, and product quality revelation.


Towse, Ruth. [2000.] Copyright and cultural industries: Incentives and earnings.


Watt, Richard. [2001.] Prices in cultural markets: A theoretical introduction for beginners.