Article Title

A Tale of Two Copyrights


This essay explores two possible copyright regimes. The first uses costless and perfect price discrimination to enable copyright owners to capture the full market or exchange value of their work. The second also uses costless and perfect price discrimination, but allows copyright owners to capture only the persuasion cost for authoring and distributing a work. We can call the first regime, costless copyright maximalism, and the second, costless copyright minimalism. The choice between these two regimes is primarily distributional: Should we design copyright to allocate the surplus associated with copyrighted works to copyright owners or to copyright consumers? This essay explores why this distributional choice matters and explains why copyright minimalism is the choice we should make.