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Is Copyright Necessary?

Thursday, January 1, 2004


Copyright is a legal mechanism for promotion of useful knowledge. However, it is not the only means society could use to encourage information dissemination, and several alternative models have been suggested over the last 200 years. This article provides the results of a dynamic simulation of the publishing industry in the United States from 1800 to 2100, and tests the impact of different protection schemes on the development of authorship, the publishing industry, and reader access. It closes with a discussion of intellectual property information policy decisions that can be currently made, and their likely impacts on domestic and international copyright protection.

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