Shall We Dance? When Law and Economics Meets Copyright

Shall We Dance? When Law and Economics Meets Copyright


Shall We Dance? When Law and Economics Meets Copyright
Hsin-Lan Hu
Copyright, Law and Economics, Fair Use Doctrine
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Law and Economics emerged as a wholly
new field of legal research and study. Economics provides not only a behavioral
theory to predict how people respond to changes in laws, but also a useful normative
standard for evaluating law and policy. In the eyes of economists, laws are
instruments for achieving important social goals, namely, resources allocative
efficiency. In the area of Copyright Law, economic analysis has taken an important
role in examining the conflict of interests between copyright owners and public.
Scholars and experts of law and economics have been working to find out the
most efficient way to allocate the scarce resource and to maximize social welfare
– in copyright law, is the Constructional object of promoting the progress of
science and useful art. In this article, the author will first introduce the movement
of Law and Economic Analysis, and illustrate the development and the central contentions of different schools. The author will also present a briefly historical
background of the U.S. Copyright Act, in which, the economic factors and the
growth of technologies pour a heavy influence into the development of that Act.
Next, the author will describe the various approaches employed by the Law and
Economic analysis, through first defining some basic concepts of economics
analysis, and then try to apply Law and Economic analysis to the U.S. copyright
law, particularly in the copyright infringement cases which involved the application
of Fair Use Doctrine, in order to survey the advantages and limits of the
adoption of Law and Economic analysis, under the ultimate object of “Promoting
the Science and Useful Art.”
Abstract Article



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