In assessing the balance between copyright protection and the statutory exceptions and limitations to copyright, research could help determine

  • the costs and benefits of copyright exceptions and limitations in terms of the economic outputs and welfare effects of the public and those individuals, businesses, educational institutions, and other entities that rely on them;
  • how copyright and the various categories of limits and exceptions interact with innovative and/or disruptive technologies and platforms; and
  • what adverse effects, if any, exceptions and limitations have on copyright holders and their potential to generate economic outputs and welfare effects.

Eventually, research will help inform decisions about key aspects of copyright policy, including:

  • the appropriate scope of copyright protection;
  • the optimal duration of the copyright term;
  • the best arrangements for correcting market imperfections if any that inhibit voluntary licensing;
  • appropriate safe harbors and the fair use exceptions to copyright;
  • effective or ineffective enforcement remedies for infringing use and the best arrangements for correcting deficiencies in enforcement mechanisms;
  • the advisability of reintroducing a formal registration requirement; and
  • the advantages and disadvantages of reshaping the copyright regime with different rules for different media or types of work.

These questions are amenable to a variety of research approaches including:

  • historical case studies
  • international comparisons
  • sectoral comparisons
  • quantitative data analysis that is either descriptive or causal and
  • experiments and surveys

The list of topics and methods is not exhaustive and is illustrative of a fairly directional research program based on assumptions about the current state of technology and geared to incremental improvements in the market and social benefits of copyright. A research program should also

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement