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Infringing Use as a Path to Legal Consumption: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Hong Luo and Julie Mortimer

No 25453, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Copyright infringement may result from frictions preventing legal consumption, but may also reveal demand. Motivated by this fact, we run a field experiment in which we contact firms that are caught infringing on expensive digital images. Emails to all firms include a link to the licensing page of the infringed image; for treated firms, we add links to a significantly cheaper licensing site. Making infringers aware of the cheaper option leads to a fourteen-fold increase in the ex-post licensing rate. Two additional experimental interventions are designed to reduce search costs for (i) price and (ii) product information. Both interventions-immediate price comparison and recommendation of images similar to those infringed-have large positive effects. Our results highlight the importance of mitigating user costs in small-value transactions.

JEL-codes: O3 O33 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-ict
Note: IO PR
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Published as Hong Luo & Julie Holland Mortimer, 2023. "Infringing use as a path to legal consumption: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, vol 32(3), pages 523-542.

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Working Paper: Infringing Use as a Path to Legal Consumption: Evidence from a Field Experiment (2018) Downloads
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