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Blending Economic Perspective: How to Effectively Craft A Copyright Law in the Digital Era

  1. Research Subjects (1-2 sentences)
  2. The conflict of interest between private businesses or owners and the public sector with regard to copyright law.
  3. The conflict between the laws governing copyright law in the realm of international sphere and municipal level.
  4. The drawbacks of existing copyright laws that balance the interest of private and public sectors.
  5. The drawbacks of existing copyright laws that harmonize international and municipal laws.
  6. The effect of imbalances in the existing copyright laws in the social norm.
  7. The value of employing economic perspective in the course of crafting or revising copyright laws in a state.
  8. The advantages and disadvantages of using economic perspective in crafting or revising copyright laws.
  9. Research Questions (2-3 sentences)
  10. Should the government craft a copyright law that takes into consideration the right of the public to access information? Should the government craft a copyright law that takes into consideration the potential maximum financial benefits that owners could derive from their works?
  11. Should copyright law be regulated at the international level? Should the crafting of copyright law be left at the will of each state without interference or regulation of international organizations, such as but not limited to “Bern Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention, and a series of other treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization”.[1]
  12. Should copyright law be a question of social, legal, international or economic? Should there be one approach to use in understanding the dilemma of copyright laws in the digital era?
  13. What are the steps that the government should take in alleviating the problems arising from the conflict of interest between the private and public sectors? What are the steps that the government should take in harmonizing the conflicting laws in the international and municipal levels?
  • The Main Claim

There are different approaches utilized by governments in crafting or revising the existing copyright laws in their state; however, most approaches fail due to conflicting interest brought by private-public interest and international-municipal law debates. The best approach to craft or revise the existing copyright law is to make one “without regard to the vested interests of particular business and consumer groups”[2]. Thus, there is a need to look at it from the economic perspective: “they should be assessed with regard to their consequences for efficiency in markets for creative works and other products”.[3] The following evidence prove this claim:

Public V Private Conflict of Interest

1A. There is a need to protect the interest of private businesses against piracy in the digital era. Private businesses contend that “digital copying increases their losses from piracy compared with non-digital copying because digital copies can potentially have the same quality as the originals”.[4] According to the study conducted by the Congressional Budget Office of the United States, “Copyright holders consequently fear that unauthorized copying and redistribution of their works will cause their economic returns to decline”.[5]

1B. The growth of technology in the digital era brought clamor to the private sector to protect their rights against piracy. However, “the exorbitant protection of copyright holders’ commercial interests introduced at the expense of the public’s needs led to the additional costs of compliance with the law stemming from the tension between the copyright regulations and social norms”.[6] Further, some states copyright laws tend to favor the private businesses thereby expanding criminal penalties with regard to copyright infringement.[7]

 

International V Municipal Laws

2A. According to the study conducted by Katsarova, there is a conflict of international and municipal laws governing the copyright law. As a general rule, copyright law should be treated territorial – it should not extend beyond the scope of one’s territory. However, the current dilemma is “while many aspects of national copyright laws have been harmonized through international copyright agreements, copyright laws in most countries have some unique features”.[8]

2B. Although it is good that copyright laws in the digital era pressed the need to be regulated by the realm of international relations, the European Union acknowledged that there are two limitations that it failed to address in doing so: “1. works are protected only for a certain period of time, at the expiration of which they may be used freely; 2. during the term of protection, a number of exceptions and limitations, allows for copyrighted works to be used without a license from the copyright owner”.[9] These limitations only proved that regulation in the international level is still not effective in addressing the problems of crafting laws in the digital era.

  1. Outline
  2. Historical Background of Copyright Laws
  3. The Advent of Copyright Laws
  • The Changes in Technology and how it affects the existing copyright laws
  1. The Imbalance between Private-Public Sectors
  2. The Imbalance between International-Municipal Laws
  3. The Effect of Imbalances in the Social Norm
  4. The three Economic Approaches that may be used in crafting copyright laws (as adopted from the Congressional Budget of the United States)
  5. Forbearance
  6. Benefits/Advantages
  7. Drawbacks/Disadvantages
  8. Assessment: Why is it necessary to adopt this approach in the digital era
  9. Compulsory licensing of digital content
  10. Benefits/Advantages
  11. Drawbacks/Disadvantages
  12. Assessment: Why is it necessary to adopt this approach in the digital era
  13. revision of copyright law in favor of either copy- right holders or consumers of copyrighted material.
  14. Benefits/Advantages
  15. Drawbacks/Disadvantages
  16. Assessment: Why is it necessary to adopt this approach in the digital era
  17. Conclusion

  

References

Congressional Budget Office of the United States, ‘Copyright Issues in Digital Media’ (2005) Congress of the United States.

Gayer, Amit and Shy, Oz, ‘Copyright Enforcement in the Digital Era’ (2005) 51 CESifo Economic Studies 2-3.

Gracz, Katarzyna, ‘Bridging the Gaps Between Social and Legal Norms Concerning Protection of Intellectual and Artistic Creations: On the Crisis of Copyright Law in the Digital Era’ (2013) 16 The Journal of World Intellectual Property 1-2.

Katsarova, Ivana, ‘The Challenges of the Copyright in the European Union’ (2015) European Parliamentary Research Service.

The Harvard Law Review, ‘The Criminalization of Copyright Infringement in the Digital Era’ (1999) 112 The Harvard Law Review Association 7.

 

[1] Katsarova, Ivana, The Challenges of the Copyright in the European Union’ (European Parliamentary Research Service 2015) 1.

[2] Congressional Budget Office of the United States, Copyright Issues in Digital Media (Congress of the United States 2005) viii.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Gayer, Amit and Shy, Oz, Copyright Enforcement in the Digital Era’ (CESifo Economic Studies 2005) 479.

[5] Congressional Budget Office, viii.

[6] Gracz, Katarzyna, Bridging the Gaps Between Social and Legal Norms Concerning Protection of Intellectual and Artistic Creations: On the Crisis of Copyright Law in the Digital Era, (The Journal of World Intellectual Property 2013) 46.

[7] Harvard Law Review, The Criminalization of Copyright Infringement in the Digital Era, (The Harvard Law Review Association 1999) 1707.

[8] Katsarova, 2.

[9] Ibid.


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