Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms

Brett Danaher, Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang

Chapter in NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 14 (2014), Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors (p. 25 - 61)
Conference held April 23, 2013
Published in June 2014 by University of Chicago Press
© 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy

Much debate exists around the impact that illegal file sharing may have on the creative industries. Similarly, opinions differ regarding whether the producers of artistic works should be forced to accept any weakening of intellectual property rights resulting from illegal file sharing, or if governments should intervene to protect these rights. This chapter seeks to inform these questions by outlining what we do and do not know from existing academic research.

We first discuss whether filesharing displaces sales of media goods and then discuss whether such displacement will lead to reduced incentives to produce new creative works. We continue by summarizing recent findings on what businesses can do to compete with piracy and the effectiveness of anti-piracy interventions on encouraging consumers to migrate from illegal to legal consumption channels. We conclude by demonstrating that without additional empirical evidence, it will be difficult to determine the socially optimal set of strategies and government copyright policies in the digital era.

download in pdf format
   (571 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1086/674020

This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w19150, Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms, Brett Danaher, Michael D. Smith, Rahul Telang
Users who downloaded this chapter also downloaded* these:
Waldfogel Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare
Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf File Sharing and Copyright
Danaher, Smith, and Telang w19150 Piracy and Copyright Enforcement Mechanisms
Danaher, Dhanasobhon, Smith, and Telang Understanding Media Markets in the Digital Age: Economics and Methodology
Butcher and Piehl w13229 Why are Immigrants' Incarceration Rates so Low? Evidence on Selective Immigration, Deterrence, and Deportation
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us