Access to cultural expressions and incentives to creativity: Arguments, evidence and implications

Jordi López Sintas


This chapter explores the role played by intellectual property legislation in the creation of cultural expressions (books, music, films, etc) and its influence on markets and access. We describe the theoretical arguments underpinning intellectual property laws, review the empirical evidence and reconsider arguments in light of the evidence. Finally, we propose a solution regarding the moral and pecuniary rights of creators and producers that would improve access to cultural creations while maintaining incentives to creativity. What we propose is to separate the pecuniary rights of creators from those of (re)producers and marketers, with the result that creators would increase their revenues, markets would become more competitive, access to cultural creations would be enhanced and the loss of social wellbeing resulting from temporary monopolies created and guaranteed by law would be limited. We also argue that transforming the moral rights of creators into rights of attribution would encourage the creation of derivative works that would enhance the popularity of original creators and possibly increase their revenues further.

Palabras clave

intellectual property law, the economics of intellectual property, access to culture, incentives to cultural creation

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