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Incentives to lead, follow, or compete: comparative national choices of international copyright

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I study the desirability and incentives for countries to lead or follow in international copyright policy making by analyzing a lead-follow model of international copyright and comparing it with a competitive model. The analyses suggest that the lead-follow model is globally preferable except when the information products have short economic life in the leading country. In this exceptional case, the incentives of individual countries are compatible with global welfare as they also prefer the globally preferable competitive model. However, in the cases where the lead-follow model is globally preferable, individual countries do not always have the incentive to lead or follow. For example, a small country may prefer competition over leading or following, as competition may allow it to free-ride on the copyright protection provided by the larger country. This suggests that 'extraordinary' incentive is sometimes needed to induce individual countries to adopt the lead-follow model of international copyright when it is globally desirable.
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Keywords: following versus competitive policy making; international copyright policy; leading; national and global welfare analyses; simulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Gabelli School of Business, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, USA

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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