Economics of Copyright Law


Journal articles


Gordon, Wendy J. 1982. Fair use as market failure: A structural and economic analysis of the Betamax case and its predecessors. Columbia Law Review 82: 1600-1657.



Cirace, J. 1984. When does complete copying of copyrighted works for purposes other than for profit or sale constitute fair use? An economic analysis of the Sony Betamax and Williams & Wilkins cases. Saint Louis University Law Journal 28: 647. Available from Westlaw.



Adelstein, R., and S. Peretz. 1985. The competition of technologies in markets for ideas: Copyright and fair use in evolutionary perspective. International Review of Law and Economics 5: 209.



Gordon, Wendy J. 1989. An inquiry into the merits of copyright: The challenges of consistency, consent and encouragement theory. Stanford Law Review 41: 1343-1469.


Landes, William M., and Richard A. Posner. 1989. An economic analysis of copyright law. Journal of Legal Studies 18: 325-363.


Menell, P. S. 1989. An analysis of copyright protection for application programs. Stanford Law Review 41: 1044-1104.


Palmer, Tom. 1989. Intellectual property: A non-Posnerian law and economics approach. Hamline Law Review 12: 261.



Conley, John M. Revisiting s. 117 of the Copyright Act: An economic approach. The Computer Lawyer 7, no.11 (November): 1. Available from Lexis.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1990. Toward a jurisprudence of benefits: The norms of copyright and the problem of private censorship. University of Chicago Law Review 57: 1009-1049.



Gordon, Wendy J. 1992. Asymmetric market failure and prisoner’s dilemma in intellectual property. University of Dayton Law Review 17: 853-869.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1992. On owning information: Intellectual property and the restitutionary impulse. Virginia Law Review 78: 149-281.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1992. Reality as artifact: From Feist to fair use. Law and Contemporary Problems 55: 93-107. Available from Westlaw.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1992. Of harms and benefits: Torts, restitution, and intellectual property. Journal of Legal Studies 21: 449.


Hadfield, Gilliam K. 1992. The economics of copyright: A historical perspective. Copyright Law Symposium (ASCAP) 38: 1-46.


Landes, William M. 1992. Copyright protection of letters, diaries and other unpublished works: An economic approach. Journal of Legal Studies (January). Previously as Chicago Law & Economics Working Paper No. 1 (2d Series).



Anderson, M. G., and P. F. Brown. 1993. The economics behind copyright fair use: A principled and predictable body of law. Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal 24: 143. Available from Westlaw.


Brennan, Timothy J. 1993. Copyright, property, and the right to deny copyright. Chicago-Kent Law Review 68: 675. Available from Lexis.


David, Paul A. 1993. Intellectual property institutions and the panda’s thumb: Patents, copyrights, and trade secrets in economic theory and history. In Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Scienced and Technology, Mitchell B. Wallerstein, Mary Ellen Magee, and Roberta A. Schoen, eds. (Washington D. C.:  National Academy Press), 19-62.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1993. A property right in self-expression: Equality and individualism in the natural law of intellectual property. Yale Law Journal 102: 1533.


Netanel, Neil Weinstock. 1993. Copyright alienability restrictions and the enhancement of author autonomy: A normative evaluation. Rutgers Law Journal 24: 347. Available from Westlaw.


Schmidtchen, Dieter, and Christian Koboldt. 1993. A pacemaker that stops halfway: The decompilation rule in the EEC Directive on the legal protection of computer programs. International Review of Law and Economics 13: 413-429.


Gordon, Wendy J., and A. Gowen. 1994. Mandated access: Commensurability and the right to say ‘no’. Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal 17: 225. Available from Westlaw.


Gordon, Wendy J. et al. 1994. Virtual Reality, Appropriation, and Property Rights in Art: A Roundtable Discussion. Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 13: 89-117.

Gordon, Wendy J. 1994. Assertive modesty: An economics of intangibles. Columbia Law Review 94: 2579.



Carlson, Stephen C. 1995. The law and economics of star pagination. George Mason University Law Review 2 (Spring): 421. Available from Lexis.


Dam, Kenneth W. 1995. Some economic considerations in the intellectual property protection of software. Journal of Legal Studies 24: 321-377.


Warren-Boulton, Frederick R., Kenneth C. Baseman, and Glenn A. Woroch. 1995. Copyright protection of software can make economic sense. The Computer Lawyer 12, no. 2 (February): 10. Available from Lexis.


Warren-Boulton, Frederick R., Kenneth C. Baseman, and Glenn A. Woroch. 1995. Economics of intellectual property protection for software: The proper role for copyright. StandardView 3, no. 2 (June): 68-78.



Gordon, Wendy J. 1996. Norms of communications and commodification.  University of Pennsylvania Law Review 144: 2321-2339.


Lunney, Glynn S., Jr. 1996. Reexamining copyright’s incentives-access paradigm. Vanderbilt Law Review 49: 483-571.


Merges, Robert P. 1996. Contracting into liability rules: Intellectual property rights and collective rights organisations. California Law Review 84, no. 5 (October): 1293.



Cotter, Thomas F. 1997. Pragmatism, economics, and droit moral. North Carolina Law Review 76: 1- 96. Available from Lexis.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1997. On the economics of copyright, restitution and ‘fair use’: Systemic versus case-by-case responses to market failure. Journal of Law and Information Science (Australia) 8: 7-45.


Koboldt, Christian. 1997. The EU-Directive on the legal protection of databases and the incentives to update: An economic analysis. International Review of Law and Economics 17, no. 1 (March): 127-138.


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, no. 1 (Fall): 1-58. Available from Lexis.


Meurer, Michael J. 1997. Price discrimination, personal use and piracy: Copyright protection of digital works. Buffalo Law Review 45: 845. Available from Lexis.


Raskind, L. 1992. Assessing the impact of Feist. University of Dayton Law Review 17: 330.



Cohen, Julie E. 1998. Lochner in cyberspace: The new economic orthodoxy of “rights management”. Michigan Law Review 97 (November): 462-563.


Fisher, William W., III. 1998. Property and contract on the Internet. Chicago-Kent Law Review 73: 1203.


Gordon, Wendy J. 1998. Intellectual property as price discrimination: Implications for contract. Chicago-Kent Law Review 73: 1367.


Menell, Peter S. 1998. An epitaph for traditional copyright protection of network features of computer software. Antitrust Bulletin 43: 651.


Turnbull, Shann. 1998. Should ownership law forever? Journal of Socio-Economics 27, no. 3: 341-363.


van den Bergh, Roger. 1998. The role and justification of copyright: A “law and economics” approach. Intellectual Property Quarterly, no. 1.



Benkler, Yochai. 1999. Free as the air to common use: First Amendment constraints on enclosure of the public domain. New York University Law Review 74 (May): 354-446. Available from Lexis.


Reichman, J. H. 1999. Privately legislated intellectual property rights: Reconciling freedom of contract with public good uses of information. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 147 (April): 875-970. Available from Lexis.


Risch, Michael. 1999. How can Whelan v. Jaslow and Lotus v. Borland both be right? Reexaming the economics of computer software reuse. John Marshall Journal of Computer & Information Law 17 (Winter): 511-556. Available from Lexis.


Soon, Jason. 1999. An economic perspective on intellectual property: The case of copyright. Policy (Autumn): 38-41.



Benkler, Yochai. 2000. An unhurried view of private ordering in information transactions. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, no. 6: 2063-2080.


Boyle, James. 2000. Cruel, mean, or lavish? Economic analysis, price discrimination, and digital intellectual property. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, no. 6: 2007-2039.


Cohen, Julie E. 2000. Copyright and the perfect curve. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, no. 6: 1799-1819.


Ginsburg, Jane C., Wendy J. Gordon, Arthur R. Miller, and William F. Patry. 2000. Symposia: The constitutionality of copyright term extension: How long is too long? Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 18: 651-737.


Gordon, Wendy J., and Robert Bone. 2000. Copyright. In Encyclopedia of Law & Economics, Vol. 2: Civil Law and Economics, ed. Boudwijn Bouckaert and Gerrit De Geest, 189-215. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2000. Copyright and parody: Touring the certainties of property and restitution. In Certitudes Du Droit/Certainty and the Law, ed. Ejan Mackaay. Montreal: Themis Publishing.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2000. Fine-tuning Tasini: Privileges of electronic distribution and reproduction. Brooklyn Law Review 66: 473-500.


Landes, William M. 2000. Copyright, borrowed images and appropriation art: An economic approach. George Mason Law Review 9: 1. Previously as Chicago John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 113 (2d Series).


Levy, Nichelle Nicholes. 2000. Method to their madness: The secure digital music initiative, a law and economics perspective. Virginia Journal of Law and Technology 5, no. 3 (Fall): 12. Available at


Netanel, Neil Weinstock. 2000. Market hierarchy and copyright in our system of free expression. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, no. 6: 1879-1932.


O’Rourke, Maureen A. 2000. Shaping competition on the Internet: Who owns product and pricing information? Vanderbilt Law Review 54, no. 6: 1965-2006.


Towse, Ruth. 2000. Economic Aspects of Limitations and Exceptions to Copyright. [London]: Intellectual Property Institute. [Strathclyde Law D 347.371 TOW]


Yoo, Christopher S. 2000. Copyright and democracy: A cautionary note. Vanderbilt Law Review 53, no. 6: 1933-1963.



Burtis, Michelle M., and Bruce H. Kobayashi. 2001. Why an original can be better than a copy: Intellectual property, the antitrust refusal to deal, and ISO antitrust litigation. Supreme Court Economic Review 9: 143-170. Available from Lexis.


Meurer, Michael J. 2001. Copyright law and price discrimination. Cardozo Law Review 23 (November): 55-148.


Parisi, Francesco, and Catherine Sevcenko. 2001. Lessons from the anticommons: The economics of New York Time Co. v. Tasini. Kentucky Law Journal 90: 295. Available from Lexis.


Samuelson, Pamela. 2001. Economic and constitutional influences on copyright law in the United States. European Intellectual Property Review 23, no. 9 (September): 409-422. Available from Westlaw.


Siebrasse, Norman. 2001. A property right theory of the limits of copyright. University of Toronto Law Journal 51 (Winter): 1.



Benkler, Yochai. 2002. Intellectual property and the organization of information production. International Review of Law and Economics 22: 81-107.


Cheverie, Joan F. 2002. The changing economics of information technology development, and copyright protection: What are the consequences for the public domain? Journal of Academic Librarianship 28, no. 5 (September): 325-331.


Cornish, William. 2002. The author as risk-sharer. Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts 26 (Fall): 1-16. Available from Westlaw.


Depoorter, Ben, and Francesco Parisi. 2002. Fair use and copyright protection: A price theory explanation. International Review of Law and Economics 21: 453-473.


Einhorn, Michael A. 2002. Copyright, prevention, and rational governance: File-sharing and Napster. Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts.


Einhorn, Michael A. 2002. Purple beasts and lewd tunes: Economic reasoning and copyright. Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Journal.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2002. Authors, publishers and public goods: Trading gold for dross. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 36: 159-198.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2002. Commentary on economic and ethical reasons for protecting data. In International Intellectual Property Law & Policy, vol. 6,  ed. H.C. Hansen. New York: Juris Publishing.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2002. Excuse and justification in the law of fair use: Commodification and market perspectives. In The Commodification of Information, ed. Niva Elkin-Koren and Neil Weinstock Netanel,149. Kluwer Law International.


Gordon, Wendy J. 2002. Market failure and intellectual property: A response to Professor Lunney. Boston University Law Review 82: 1031-1039.


Ku, Raymond Shih Ray. 2002. The creative destruction of copyright: Napster and the new economics of digital technology.  University of Chicago Law Review 69 (Winter): 263-324. Available from Lexis.


Liu, Joseph P. 2002. Copyright and time: A proposal. Michigan Law Review 101 (November): 409.


Tor, Avishalom, and Dotan Oliar. 2002. Incentives to create under a “lifetime-plus year” copyright duration: Lessons from a behavioral economic analysis for Eldred v. Ashcroft. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 36 (Fall): 437-492.


Towse, Ruth. 2002. Creativity, Incentive, and Reward: An Economic Analysis of Copyright and Culture in the Information Age. Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar.



Working Papers


Birnhack, Michael D. [2001.] The idea of progress in copyright law. To be available in Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal (2001) 1, no. 3.


Burtis, Michelle M., and Bruce H. Koyabashi. [2000.] Intellectual property and antitrust limitations on contract.


Cass, Ronald A., and Keith N. Hylton. 1999.Preserving competition: Economic analysis, legal standards and Microsoft. George Mason Law Review 8: 1.


Cowan, Robin, and Elad Harison. [2002.] Mobilizing digital sounds: Appropriation and dispute of music recordings.


David, Paul A. [2000.] A Tragedy of the public knowledge ‘commons’? Global science, intellectual property and the digital technology boomerang.


Einhorn, Michael A. [n.d.] Copyright, prevention, and rational governance: File-sharing and Napster.


Einhorn, Michael A. [n.d.] Digital rights management, licensing, and privacy.


Farchy, Joëlle, and Fabrice Rochelandet. [2002.] Self-help systems: Good substitutes for copyright or new barriers to competition?


Gallagher, T. [2001.] Copyright, compulsory licensing and incentives. Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre Working Paper Series No 2. Available at


Hess, Charlotte, and Elinor Ostrom. [2001.] Artifacts, facilitie, and content: Information as a common-pool resource.


Landes, William, and Douglas Lichtman. [2003.] Indirect liability for copyright infringement: An economic perspective. University of Chicago John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 179.


Landes, William M., and Richard A. Posner. [2002.] Indefinitely renewable copyright. University of Chicago John M. Olin Law and Economics Working Paper No. 154.


Lichtman, Douglas. [2003.] Copyright as a rule of evidence. Duke Law Journal. Previously as University of Chicago Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 151. Available at


Lim, Yee Fen. [n.d.] The economics of copyright law in the digital age: Which way forth for New Zealand?


Mehra, Salil K. [2002.] Copyright and comics in Japan: Does law explain why all the cartoons my kid watches are Japanese imports?


Menell, Peter S. [2002.] Envisioning copyright law’s digital future. UC Berkeley School of Law, Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 95.


Nadel, Mark S. [2002.] Questioning the economic justification for (and thus constitutionality of) copyright law’s prohibition against unauthorized copying: §106.


Picker, Randal C. [2002.] Copyright as entry policy: The case of digital distribution. University of Chicago John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 147.


Picker, Randal C. [2002.] From Edison to the broadcast flag: Mechanisms of consent and refusal and the propertization of copyright. University of Chicago John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 159.


Ramello, Giovanni B. [2002.] Copyright and antitrust issues.


Rushton, Michael. [2001.] The law and economics of artists’ inalienable rights. University of Regina, Department of Economics Discussion Paper No. 95.


Towse, Ruth. [2000.] Cultural economics, copyright and the cultural industries.


Towse, Ruth. [2002.] Copyright and cultural policy for the creative industries. Forthcoming in Economics, Law and Intellectual Property, ed. Ove Granstrand (Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers).


Yen, Alfred C. [2001.] A preliminary economic analysis of Napster: Internet technology, copyright liability, and the possibility of Coasean bargaining.