The perils of copyright regulation
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The most robust framework for understanding the evolution and consequences of copyright statutes in the United States is the dynamics of interventionism. I apply the framework of Kirzner’s (1985) perils of regulation to the general revision of copyright law in 1976, and explore its effects on entrepreneurship and discovery processes. Critics of copyright commonly recognize the distortions of rent-seeking, but I emphasize the utility of interventionism to explain the “unsimulated” and the “stifled” discovery processes set in motion by copyright interventions, which use legal processes to allocate resources, and deter future discovery by raising transaction costs.
KeywordsCopyright Regulation Intellectual Property Market Process Interventionism
JEL ClassificationB25 N42 K39
I am very grateful to Benjamin Powell for his patient suggestions, and would also like to thank Christopher Coyne, Peter Boettke, Vlad Tarko, Santiago Gangotena, Lotta Moberg, Mark Lutter, two anonymous reviewers, and participants of the 2013 Southern Economics Association Annual Conference in Tampa, FL for helpful comments. I also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Dunn Foundation and Earhart Foundation. All remaining errors and opinions are my own.
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