Reexamining Copyright's Incentives--Access Paradigm Academic Article uri icon


  • To suggest a more appropriate approach for determining the proper scope of copyright, this Article critically reexamines the economic justification for copyright and identifies allocative efficiency, rather than the incentives-access balance, as the appropriate guide. From an allocative-efficiency perspective, copyright provides the proper degree of protection when it ensures that individuals will produce works of authorship if, and only if, such production would represent the most highly valued use of their resources. In a world of finite resources, more works of authorship must mean less of something else. Unless the production of an additional work of authorship is inherently more valuable to society than any alternative use of the resources required to create the work, providing any given degree of copyright protection is desirable only if society will likely value the additional works more highly than the something else which it must give up.

published proceedings

  • Vanderbilt Law Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Lunney, G

complete list of authors

  • Lunney, Glynn S Jr

publication date

  • April 1996