Vox reports on a new study about the commercial and cultural effects that copyright protections can have on a society. Stanford economists Michela Giorcelli and Petra Moser studied the state of Italian opera from the late 1700s through 1900, and discovered that after Napoleon invaded Italy and imposed French copyright laws, those laws were associated with an increase in both the number and quality (based on historical popularity) of operas composed in Italy. The study validates one of the basic premises of copyright law, which is that providing a legal mechanism for compensating authors for their works incentivizes the creation of such works, and thus produces both commercial and cultural benefits for the state. The article ends, however, with a counterpoint quoted from a recent New Yorker article (discussed in an earlier post here) about the state of copyright law in the digital era: “Statutes protecting copyright have never been stricter; at the same time, every minute of every day, millions of people are making or using copies of material-texts, sounds, and images-that they didn't create.” Read the Vox article here.
Reposted from Vox.