Economy 101

12 Oct 2011 | 264 words | copyright economy

Stumbled across this little hidden gem in an interview on ‘Tendencies and stakes of copyright’ that Lorena Boix Alonso (Deputy Head of Cabinet of Neelie Kroes) gave to the Forum D’Avignon (emphasis mine):

For example, according to recent studies many consumers are confused about what they are allowed to copy or record concerning content leading to negligible costs of reproduction they have legally, to the point that in many cases consumers are even paying for unauthorised access to content. Moreover, they do not seem to be aware of the value of IPR. With digitisation of content, users tend to forget the creativity part behind an item and do not measure the impact of their action. These factors make IPR enforcement difficult. This is why IPR enforcement actions by governments are often not understood by the users.

This is quite an amazing quote. as far as i understand economics, value is not something that is determined by the producer of a work and that consumers need to become aware of.

Instead value is something that is usually determined in market transactions between suppliers and consumers. As long as misguided ideas such as the one expressed by Lorena Boix Alonso in the interview above are used to structure the discussion about copyright in the digital age, we will never manage to resolve this discussion.

Instead of fabulating about inherent values of digital goods (and then leaning on policy makers to somehow enforce these fantasies), rights holders really need to understand that what they need to do is making offers to consumers that are attractive to them.