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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
APOLOGY; JCL&E LATEST ISSUE APOLOGY; JCL&E LATEST ISSUE Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, December 25, 2005 Rating: 5


  1. Correction. All cats are grey in the dark. First learnt in the Army but also found in my Russian dictionary (Smirnitsky).

  2. Guy, please explain: how can a cat that is black in the day be grey in the dark? Is it merely a figure of speech, or there is there something I seriously ought to know about?


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