The starting point of this thesis is based on the plans to create a digital single market (DSM) in the EU. The aim is to consider the economic rationales behind the idea the DSM requires legal intervention in the territorial restrictions found in copyright licensing agreements. Therefore, this thesis applies a functional analysis based on economic theory to both the current copyright regime and potential copyright reforms, in order to determine the economic efficiency of these legislative initiatives.
The current regime is approach from a transaction cost perspective based on the Coase theorem. The thesis is unable to find significant evidence that significant transaction costs exists in the market for copyright licensing. Only minor transaction costs are found. These relate to divergence of national copyrights laws and increased fragmentation in collective rights management.
The economic effects of the legal reforms are applied to Erling Eide’s model for evaluation the efficiency of contracts rules. The thesis finds that the reforms may place an excessive burden on the producers of digital content services (streaming services), thereby decreasing the surplus created by copyright licensing agreements. The reforms may also have negative effects on the incentive to invest in production of digital content.
This functional analyses in this thesis tentatively supports the argument that lawmakers may benefit from drawing a distinction between market barriers for physical and digital goods. Over the past 50 years, the single market ideas have proved very effective at bringing down tariff systems and other protectionist barriers in the EU. However, the barriers seen in copyright licensing are very different, as they may simply result from economic decisions made by market participants. If this is in fact the case, then a digital single market may already exist within the EU, and legal reforms may only serve to disrupt the efficiency of the current legal regime.
|Educations||MSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||53|