limited grants of permission to access e-books, for example, limiting doctrines like first sale may be less effective than in the past. Research about how contractual practices are interacting with and perhaps displacing copyright’s limitations and exceptions would be valuable to better understand this and other developments. Harder to quantify but nonetheless critical are the effects of copyright exceptions and limitations on individual welfare, autonomy, and freedom of expression, as well as the role of libraries and archives as cultural custodians, preserving digital books, journals, archives, datasets, music, and film for consultation, scholarship, and study.
Finally, we want to reiterate two guiding principles of research on copyright. First, irrespective of whether their research relies on quantitative data collection or survey or experimental methods, investigators should consider undertaking studies that are comparative across countries, industries, and time. Cross-cultural comparisons should by no means be limited to enforcement questions. They should broadly explore how content is created, developed, disseminated, and used in countries with different copyright regimes as well as different levels of enforcement. Perhaps institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and international scientific organizations can help address data access issues which are no doubt different than but possibly as challenging as they are in the United States. Cross-country comparisons pose a challenge to the researcher in understanding the political and social context of policy changes in each of the countries being studied. Likewise, cross-sectoral studies require an understanding of how each of the industries works. Neither challenge is insuperable and the reward is a richer understanding of the different policy choices and economic contexts.
A second principle that investigators as much as policy makers should bear in mind is that technological change will continue to drive changes in content creation, distribution, and consumption, including infringement. They should be attentive to technologies and trends that should prompt re-thinking of long-held assumptions about creativity and the logic on which copyright protection is based.