The Digital Economy Research Programme
Copyright issues in Digital Media
The shift from analogue to digital technology has caused a very substantial reduction in production and distribution costs for digital media such as music, film, books and news. This, in turn, affects copyright protection, business models and revenue for media producers and copyright holders, and consumer welfare. Copyright protection and remuneration of rights holders have become major issues in the media industries. At the same time, digitisation has vastly increased the supply of media products for consumers. Despite a rapid shift to online distribution, transaction costs are still relatively high in EU media markets because they remain fragmented across countries and distribution channels.
All this has triggered a debate in the EU on the need to revise EU Directives related to copyright and audio-visual media. The European Commission is committed to adapting the regulatory setting to these new technologies and presenting policy proposals in 2015 and 2016. The public debate on copyright is often very partisan and marked by the absence of empirical evidence. This research looks at copyright from an empirical economics perspective and aims to fill major holes in the empirical evidence gap, thereby contributing to a more constructive debate.
The objectives of this research are:
The project has produced a number of studies on possible substitution between legal and copyright-infringing media distribution on the internet and on cross-border availability of media products in the EU and on the welfare impact of digitization.
List of studies