Project Management

File-Sharing And Copyright

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Executive Summary

The advent of file-sharing technology has allowed consumers to copy music, books, video games and other protected works on an unprecedented scale at minimal cost. In this paper, the authors ask whether the new technology has undermined the incentives of authors and entertainment companies to create market and distribute new works. While the empirical evidence of the effect of file sharing on sales is mixed, many studies conclude that music piracy can perhaps explain as much as one fifth of the recent decline in industry sales. A displacement of sales alone, however, is not sufficient to conclude that authors have weaker incentives to create new works.

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