Ray Corrigan

Ray Corrigan is Senior Lecturer in Technology at the Open University and author of its “Law, the Internet and Society: Technology and the Future of Ideas” course. Ray is an expert in computer mediated communication in education, having been at the front line of the Open University’s industrial-scale deployment of e-learning for many years. His research interests include interacting developments in law and technology and their wider effects on society. Ray is currently writing a book on the sustainability of our information ecology. Before academia he spent nearly ten years in a variety of roles in industry.

Papers Published in World Economics:

The Economics of Copyright

The copyright industries—such as music, film, software and publishing—occupy a significant and growing share of economic activity. Current copyright law protects the creator for up to 70 years after their death, significantly longer than patent protection (20 years after invention). Copyright law aims to balance the incentive to create new work against the costs associated with high prices and restricted access to this work. This paper reviews the economic issues behind copyright and how these are challenged by changes in technology and market structure. While economics provides a powerful conceptual framework for understanding the trade-offs involved, the paper argues that our empirical knowledge base is very weak. Much more empirical analysis is needed to understand the impacts of changes to copyright legislation. Without such analysis, policy and legal debates will continue to be based largely on anecdote and rhetoric.

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