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Entries in economics (2)

Thursday
Dec232010

The Beatles Tell Us That We've Hit The Concert Price Ceiling

The recent release of the Beatles catalog on iTunes made me think - what did a ticket to see them at their live peak cost? 

Answer: a prime seat to see the Beatles in Chicago 1966 cost $5.75 - in today’s dollars this is $37.60 - almost ten times less than what you would pay for a huge act today. 

Things were different then of course - touring was done mainly to promote record sales and tickets were priced below market purposely to make sure shows were safely sold out and to reward fans for their record-buying loyalty.  This produced what economists call a consumer surplus.  Some of that surplus was soaked up by the secondary ticketing market.

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Wednesday
Oct142009

The Lottery Model, The Free Culture Model, The Click Control Model

Q: What happens when you put a lawyer, an economist, a business executive, a government bureaucrat and an artist into a locked room?  A: The business executive assaults the economists, the lawyer sues the executive, the bureaucrat falls asleep, and the artist writes a song about it.  This is the copyright debate.

Over the last couple of years, and as a background task, I have tried to make sense of the copyright / copy restriction debate.  Is more or less copy restriction better or worse for rightsholders?

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