The Copyright Dilemma: Copyright Systems, Innovation and Economic Development

By Park, Walter G. | Journal of International Affairs, Fall-Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

The Copyright Dilemma: Copyright Systems, Innovation and Economic Development


Park, Walter G., Journal of International Affairs


This paper discusses the potential role of copyright laws in technological and economic development. Although it is more common to think of the patent system as a source of economic and technological development, copyright laws and regulations affect cultural industries such as art, films, music and literature. These industries comprise an important part of gross domestic product and are a source of employment and income opportunities. Copyright regimes also affect education and scientific research through their impacts on the diffusion of knowledge embodied in copyright media, such as print and Internet publications, software and databases, among others. The copyright system can thus have an important influence on human capital accumulation. This paper surveys some of the theoretical and empirical work to date, assesses the implications of the findings for developing economies and identifies some areas where further research is needed.

**********

Intellectual property rights are among the most important factors affecting technological progress and economic development. Thus far, most intellectual property rights research has focused on the role of patent protection rather than on other kinds of intellectual property rights, such as copyright protection. This is not surprising, since industrial inventors often look to patent rights for the protection of their innovations. However, the creation of copyright industries can also influence technological and economic change. This paper discusses the potential economic impacts of copyright laws and surveys existing theoretical and empirical work. The objective is to draw implications for economic development and to identify some issues in need of more research. The survey and discussion of issues will focus on the impacts of copyrights on innovation and creativity, since these are key determinants of economic development, but will not treat issues related to the operation and administration of copyright systems. (1)

Copyrights can have both positive and negative influences on creative activity. As a result, debates about copyright policies should focus not so much on the desirability of strict or lax copyright protection, but on the appropriate design of copyright systems. For example, the standards of copyright protection in developing economies should be appropriate for their level of economic development in order to account for the different weighting of the costs and benefits of copyright protection. Furthermore, the copyright system influences not only commercial activities, but also non-commercial ones. Researchers investigating only the commercial impacts of copyright laws--for example, on production, sales and employment--will likely undervalue the overall social impacts. Copyright policies, for example, can have effects on basic education and fundamental research, both of which are important inputs into commercial activity. (2) Moreover, while copyright systems can influence economic development, they are also a function of economic development; that is, the value of copyright protection is greater in more advanced markets. Consequently, in less developed markets, the incentives for policymakers and stakeholders to invest in the copyright regime are generally weaker. The problem in this situation is that copyright protection and enforcement may be too weak to stimulate creativity in copyrightable works. Copyright industries would then remain too underdeveloped to have an impact on economic and technological development. These points suggest directions for further research, namely to assess the significance of copyright laws for non-commercial activities such as basic research and human capital accumulation, and to analyze the interdependence between the copyright regime and the level of economic development.

WHAT ARE THE COPYRIGHT INDUSTRIES?

In 2003, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued standardized guidelines that provide a formal definition of copyright industries.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Copyright Dilemma: Copyright Systems, Innovation and Economic Development
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.