net without authorization or compensation threatens to diminish investment in some creative activities, especially those involving substantial production costs. It is important to know how these changes have affected the spectrum of creators and enterprises engaged in the generation and distribution of creative works.
For example, it would be valuable to know more about the expenses involved in different aspects of creative productivity, including both initial authorship and subsequent dissemination to the public, across different sectors, and the different business models by which those expenses might be recouped. Studies along these lines might document that some types of creative production remain quite expensive in the digital age. It seems likely, however, that digital tools make other types of creativity and dissemination much less costly. These costs should in turn be understood in relation to better understandings of the copyright- and non-copyright-dependent sources of motivation for creative production. Some types of creative production may require investments that are difficult to recoup other than by exploiting copyright protection. Other creators may be motivated by alternative sources of monetary and/or non-monetary compensation—ranging from sales of ancillary products and services, such as live concert performances, to reputational benefits to the simple pleasure that so many Internet uses seem to derive from creating and sharing their own creative expression online without any apparent expectation of exploiting their exclusive rights for monetary gain.
We do not mean by these suggestions to prejudge the results of studies of the costs and motivations of creative expression and dissemination but merely to indicate how such studies would enrich our understanding of the factual basis for the assumptions built into the theoretical justification for copyright and of how those facts may be changing as digital technology affects both the costs of creative production and the power of non-copyright-dependent motivations. Information about creator motivations and costs would not only illuminate theoretical justifications for copyright. It might reveal differences in incentives and costs among types of works such as works for entertainment and scholarly and educational works. Such data would be critical to informed judgments about the merits of differentiated copyright protection—whether, for example, the duration of copyright protection should vary from one type of creative work product to another.
Another set of motivations is highly relevant to copyright policy: the motivations of various types of users and potential users of creative works. Users include people who currently pay to purchase copies or