The Entangled Political Economy Of Copyright

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The Entangled Political Economy of Copyright Colin Harris1 ABSTRACT: This paper uses the entangled political economy framework developed by Wagner (2014) to analyze the effects that copyright legislation has on content producers and pirate communities. I identify Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies as part of the superfluous discovery process that results when politically enforced copyright legislation works to subsidize the cost of creating property rights in creative goods. I also analyze the effects that criminal sanctions against copyright infringement have on how pirate communities choose to self-organize. I conclude with the claim that the entangled framework provides for better analysis than the tradition additive political economy framework because copyright does not work to control the outcome of the system and correct for the market failure associated with creative goods, rather it influences specific nodes in the entangled system in particular ways. KEYWORDS: Copyright, Digital Piracy, Entangled Political Economy, DRM JEL CODES: B41, B59, D02, H41, K42, 1 Email: CHarri25@masonlive.gmu.edu 1 1. Introduction The history of copyright is one of entanglement. Prior to the first official copyright statute a printing guild known as the Stationers ' Company maintained monopoly power over printing and regulating books. Their monopoly power, granted by the Licensing of the Press Act 1662, was revoked in 1694 after the English Parliament refused to renew it in light
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