Archive for November 9th, 2015

Impact of Intellectual property rights on Italian artistic creativity in 19th century..

November 9, 2015
Petra Moser of Stern School of Business has a nice piece showing how the IPRs impacted arts on expected lines even in 19th  century. These things are quite obvious and people understood it without all the jazzy research:
The effects of copyright laws on artistic creativity are difficult to identify. This column looks back at 19th century Lombardy and Venetia where, following annexation by Napoleon, basic copyright protection was adopted. The copyright laws raised both the quantity and quality of Italian opera. The findings have important implications for modern debates about protecting intellectual property.

More generally, our results suggest that narrowly defined intellectual property – in the form of copyright – can encourage innovation. This finding contrasts with historical evidence on more broadly defined intellectual property rights such as patents, which suggests that policies that weaken patents encourage innovation, while policies that strengthen patents discourage innovation (Moser 2013). For example, my analyses of 19th century innovations indicate that the adoption of patent laws may affect the direction, but not the level of creative work (Moser 2005).

Intuitively, the narrow scope of copyright, which protects an individual expression of a work, prevents a key problem with patents. When patent rights are broad and their boundaries are poorly defined, innovators are at risk of unintentionally infringing on existing intellectual property, and patent examiners may issue overlapping patents for the same invention. These characteristics of patent laws increase the risks of litigation and discourage innovation. Comparison of patents and copyright suggests that intellectual property policies that reduce the breadth of patents (for example, by disallowing patents for abstract ideas) can encourage innovation.

Nice bit..

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