More Music in Movies: What Box Office Data Reveals about the Availability of Public Domain Songs in Movies from 1968-2008

Paul J. Heald, Peibei Shi, Jeffrey Stoiber, Qingyao Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A previous empirical study suggested that as copyrighted songs transitioned into the public domain they were used just as frequently in movie soundtracks as when they were still legally protected. That study, however, did not account for the number people who viewed each movie in the theater. Since the debate over copyright term extension centers on the continuing "availability" of works as they fall into the public domain, a better measure of the availability of songs in movies would account for the relative box office success of the movies in which the songs appear. The present study collects box office data for hundreds of movies from 1968-2008 in which appeared hundreds of songs and concludes that public domain songs were heard by just as many people in movie theaters before and after they fell into the public domain.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-54
Number of pages24
JournalReview of Economic Research on Copyright Issues
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Keywords

  • Entertainment; Media
  • Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'More Music in Movies: What Box Office Data Reveals about the Availability of Public Domain Songs in Movies from 1968-2008'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this