ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argues that the ruling in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley and Sons will make price discrimination difficult for non-digital goods, but that a mix of technology and legal protections will still allow copyright owners to offer regional differential pricing for digital goods.
ICES-GMU Workshop on Internationalization & Competitiveness
Last week Rob Atkinson presented on the many myths surrounding adoption of IP practices and trade strategies in developed and developing nations. His presentation at the ICES-GMU Workshop on Internationalization & Competitiveness made clear the need to uphold strong IP protection and get tough on international trade violations and mercantilist practices.
The Supreme Court Is About to Shape the Future of Innovation
Bowman v. Monsanto is about patents, but particularly about cutting-edge technologies and products that are by nature easy to copy. Our patent law principles were intended to foster innovation by giving innovators the temporary right to prevent others from copying their inventions. With the rise of biotechnology and other advances, many patented technologies are based on biological or other materials that are by nature replicable, making illicit copying as tempting as it is easy. Do inventors retain the rights to temporary exclusivity for those easy-to-make copies as well? Every invention and new creative work will ultimately enter into the public domain, where it will become available to all, to use without restriction. Indeed, Monsanto’s last patent on the soybeans Bowman used will expire next year. But in the meantime innovators, whether they are in a scientific laboratory or a recording studio, must count on being able to recoup their risky investments without the threat of illegal copies.
Copyright Policy and Economic Doctrines
For many years, the debate over copyright policy in advanced industrial nations was marked by a relative lack of partisan and ideological conflict. There was a general consensus that relatively strong copyright protection spurred the development of content and was both pro-innovation and pro-consumer. But in the last decade, this has changed markedly, as was so clear with the heated debate over PIPA/SOPA last year. However, copyright policy debates are largely grounded in economic doctrines.
Despite what many economists claim, economics is not a science; and in this case intellectual approaches to the issue of information industries and copyright differ substantially. These approaches reflect differences in economic doctrine among economists, policymakers and others. Based on these doctrines, different people stress different goals and values and work under different assumptions about how information industries and copyright work.
This report postulates and describes four competing economic doctrines: conservative neoclassical, liberal neoclassical, neo-Keynesian, and innovation economics. It explains how each doctrine leads to different views of optimal copyright policy and how there is no scientifically optimal copyright policy; any policy position reflects different goals, assumptions and values.
A Fair and Competitive Royalty System for Music Services
ITIF argues the current rate-setting process for music royalties is broken and the Internet Radio Fairness Act is an incomplete solution. Bold reform would treat different technologies in a similar manner and would allow copyright owners to individually set rates for statutory licenses for their music, which would foster a more fair, competitive and innovative market for music, broadcasters, and Internet radio.