Fisher: Alternative Compensation Scheme for Copyright

Prof. Terry Fisher’s alternative compensation scheme — focused initially on the music industry and extensible to film, books and other forms of content — has four parts: Register, Tax, Count, Pay. 

How much money would you have to raise to make this system work?   About $2.4 billion, he calculates. 

Merits of such a system: large cost savings; elimination of deadweight loss; convenience for consumers; no price discrimination; gains from semiotic democracy.

Demerits: Who gets hurt? Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and possibly record companies and studios.  But the last community might not get hurt at all, if they’re as good as they say at selecting winners among artists. Distortions and cross-subsidies.  Danger of giving discretionary power to a government agency.

Advantages over the current arrangement seem sufficient to try it out.

For more details and continued iteration of the model: see Chapter 6 of Promises to Keep (forthcoming) at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/tfisher/PTKChapter6.pdf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s