Copyright and economic incentives: An application to performers' rights in the music industry

This source preferred by Ruth Towse

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Authors: Towse, R.

Journal: Kyklos

Volume: 52

Issue: 3

Pages: 369-390

ISSN: 0023-5962

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.1999.tb00223.x

This paper contributes to the economic analysis of copyright in three ways: first, it draws a distinction between the general purpose of copyright law and the administration of the royalty system of payment for the use of copyrighted material; this leads to the principal-agent analysis of modes of payment. Secondly, this approach is applied to a specific topic, the change in copyright law in the form of the introduction of a new property right for performers in the UK that has come about as a result of the harmonisation programme of the European Union. Finally, new data were collected to assess the likely impact this change in law would have on performers' earning using the music industry as a case study. This is novel because there has been no previous attempt to apply empirical evidence to the analysis of copyright law. The paper therefore provides a framework for evaluating changes to copyright law.

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