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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Population growth tilts the copyright balance

Tom W. Bell, More Authors, Less Copyright, Technology Liberation Front, August 23, 2007.

How does market growth affect the efficiency of copyright? I earlier argued that, holding all else equal, the low marginal cost of reproducing expressive works ensures that a larger audience will tend to reward copyright owners with larger profits. Population increases thus threaten to throw copyright policy out of balance, making the costs of its restrictions outweigh the benefits of its incentives. I’d here like to air a related but distinctly different argument: Holding all else equal, an increase in population, because it brings an increase in the number of authors motivated by non-pecuniary incentives, tends to render copyright less necessary....