The optimal level of copyright protection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


We specify the optimal level of copyright protection for an individual producer and the society as a whole. For an individual producer, the optimal level is (i) no protection, (ii) the level under which the producer's overall profit net of the development cost is zero, or (iii) full protection. The optimal level for the society, on the other hand, critically depends on the distribution of firms' development costs. We also show that an increase in copyright protection may increase or decrease the social welfare loss due to underutilization, while it will always decrease the social welfare loss due to underproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-348
Number of pages22
JournalInformation Economics and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sept


  • Copyright protection
  • Intellectual property
  • Underproduction
  • Underutilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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