Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Econ and Security papers

Ross Anderson has added three papers to his Economics and Security Resource page:

  • Fetscherin and
    Vlietstra’s DRM
    and music: How do rights affect the download price?
    shows that the
    prices of music tracks sold online are mostly determined by the rights
    granted to the purchaser – including the right to burn, copy or export
    the music – and also by the label and the location.

  • Felix Oberholzer
    and Koleman Strumpf’s The
    Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales — An Empiral Analysis

    examines the correlation between downloads and music sales. They show
    that downloads do not do significant harm to the music industry. Even
    in the most pessimistic interpretation, five thousand downloads are
    needed to displace a single album sale, while high-selling albums
    actually benefit from file sharing. (See also a press
    of a musicians’ survey.)

  • Yooki Park and
    Suzanne Scotchmer’s Digital Rights
    Management and the Pricing of Digital Products
    argues that DRM
    does not have to be perfect – the cost of circumvention needn’t be
    raised above the monopoly price; that technical protection may still
    yield more revenue than legal protection, as it may never expire; and
    that separate DRM systems may yield higher prices than a shared
    system, because of the greater incentives for, and effects of,
    circumvention. It also looks at how the structure of a DRM consortium
    such as the TCG might promote, or inhibit, collusive behaviour among
    content vendors.

The page is a wonderful resource, I just wish it were harder for Ross to keep up with the flow of new, worthwhile work. [Clarification: Because that would mean more good work was coming out.]