Intellectual property: High handed conduct, low hanging fruit

I gave a talk this morning at the Australian Digital Alliance policy seminar.  Somewhat to my surprise I’m the patron of the ADA and so had to sing for my supper. My talk had the title reported above.  As an economist among lawyers I was in some trepidation as to how it would all go. As I’ve observed in other contexts, I watch a lot of the legal discussion of IP in a state of bewilderment.

I was . . .  alarmed at how much of a meal lawyers can make of things that economists see as non-issues (like how to get the last penny of royalties to the copyright holders of ’orphan works’ – that is works that are not ‘public domain’ but for which rightful owners of copyright can’t be found.)  I was sitting in a lengthy session about this and other not dissimilar problems in amazement that no-one reached for an economic perspective on this stuff (even if they didn’t want to treat it as the final word).

Anyway I got quite a few requests for my slides, so here they are (ppt). I understand the National Library will provide a video podcast to which I’ll link when I know where to link.

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10 years ago

When was the last time you ‘reached’ for a legal perspective on a policy design problem, either?