Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing

Copyright and Generic Entry in Book Publishing

Taking works off copyright promotes their availability, but it also allows generic entry to dissipate producer surplus. This paper examines the effect of a copyright on the availability and price of books when incentives to create new works are not affected. Evaluating the welfare impact of the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, I find that a copyright significantly limits the availability of works, leading to a decrease in consumer surplus, which is significantly larger than any increases in profits to copyright holders. Without changing incentives to create new content, the copyright extension was economically inefficient.

Imke Reimers


July 2019

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By |2019-07-30T06:38:37-07:00January 1st, 2018|Copyright, Efficiency/Growth, Intellectual Property, Political Economy, Reference|