Technology makes it too convenience for Consumers to violate Copyright Law
Today most newly created textual, photographic, audio, and video content is available in digital form. Even older content that was not digital can relatively easily converted to machine-readable formats. At same time, the world has become more networked, making it easy to transfer digital content from one person to another. The combination of technological progress in both digitization and computer networking has
been a challenge for traditional ways of managing intellectual property. Some observers have even questioned whether current models for intellectual property can or should survive in a digital world.
For example, there is widespread concern about piracy of popular music and film, both
by the network and by bootleg CDs and DVDs. There is also concern about the economic viability of the current model for scholarly publication, or, for that matter traditional forms of publishing such as newspapers and TV network news.
These developments have led to a revival of interest in the economics of copying and copyright. In this brief review I am going to examine some of the economic issues in this area, and describe some of the insights that have emerged from this work. We end with some reflections on alternative business models for provision of creative works. A brief history of copyright The origins of copyright date back to seventeenth century England. Prior to the invention of the printing press in the late fifteenth century, the English royalty controlled information dissemination by punishing dissenting authors. After the arrival of the printing press, the locus of control shifted to the publishers, and royal declarations required printers to display their names, cities and dates of publication on each work. Several publishers banded together to form the Stationers Company, which in 1662 was given the exclusive right to practice the art of printing, in exchange for the...