Figuring it out: Applying economics to copyright royalty rates for streamed music

Authors: Towse, R.

Journal: Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues

Volume: 17

Issue: 2

Pages: 1-22

eISSN: 1698-1367

ISSN: 1698-1359


Economists are often, even regularly, used as consultants to the various parties involved in the process of regulating copyright and as witnesses in court procedures to set royalty rates. What insights from economic analysis do they offer? Are their contributions widely accepted or controversial? The article offers two case studies relating to streamed music: the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB)’s judgement on Phonorecords III, and the discussion on ‘user-centric’ versus ‘pro rata’ methods for distributing music streaming royalties by CMOs. Both clearly demonstrate the conflict between efficiency and equity principles; however the main focus of the article is the extent to which ‘platform economics’ was adopted in the discussions of music streaming and how, if at all, that approach influenced procedures.

Source: Scopus