New Technologies and Intellectual Property

An Economic Analysis

by Stanley Besen


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This Note aims to improve understanding of how new information and communications technologies may affect the economic system in which knowledge-based products and services are produced, packaged, distributed, and used. It examines (1) the economic basis for the systems of private property rights in intellectual property, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets; (2) the economic behavior of producers of intellectual property; (3) the effects of new technologies on that behavior; (4) the effects of the legal treatment of authors, publishers, packagers, distributors, and users; (5) the issues involved in estimating the harm to producers of intellectual property that results from the introduction of new technologies; and (6) various types of government intervention that may be used to promote the supply of intellectual property.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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