Sorry if you got deluged!
Many of you who receive our email notifications will have received 50 or so notifications of the IPKat's blog last night. This appears to have been the result of a malfunction of Google's normally reliable notification software. If it's any consolation, the IPKat and Merpel were deluged with a multiplicity of unwanted emails too, including a large number of Out of Office messages that normally get filtered out of the email circular system.
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Another JCL&E emerges
It may be late December, but the golden leaves and balmy autumnal evenings in Oxford are conjured up by the late appearance of the September 2005 issue of Oxford University Press's Journal of Competition Law & Economics.
The IPKat is a firm believer that intellectual property law only makes sense against a background of competition law and that it is primarily an economic right, not a moral one. He is saddened, however, that most economists either steer clear of IP law or seem to misunderstand its hugely subtle operation. That's why he was so pleased to see the critical analysis by Ariel Katz (right, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) of the collective administration of copyright. In his abstract Professor Katz writes:
In most countries the right to publicly perform music is not administered individually by the copyright holders but rather collectively by performing rights organizations (PROs). The common explanation behind the proliferation of collective administration is that some aspects of copyright administrations are natural monopolies. It is often argued that individual administration is impracticable or at least non-economical. Collective administration is therefore promoted as the most efficient method for licensing, monitoring and enforcing those rights. In addition, because the market is a natural monopoly, regulation, rather than an attempt to foster competition, is thought to be the optimal regulatory response. This is the first in a series of two articles that critically analyse this natural monopoly argument. In this article I argue that the case for PROs is not as straightforward as it is assumed to be. I show that many of the underlying cost efficiencies that are attributed to PROs are usually simply assumed and, in many cases, could be equally achieved under less restrictive arrangements.Biographical details of Ariel Katz here
Full list of contents of the current issue of JCL&E here