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This chapter provides an appraisal of policy options in terms of the welfare economics of policy analysis. The role of technological change as necessitating changes in the law per se is critiqued with reference to the views of the originators of the much used concept of ‘disruptive innovation’. A variety of evidence is considered from those who claim current law is inefficient and requires a change to suitably accommodate the challenges of new technology. This evidence draws on academic legal papers, interview studies with practitioners in the field, and the two econometric papers concerned with the impact of the ‘Grand Upright’ and ‘Bridgeport’ decisionson the use of samples and the creativity with which they are used. The limitations of the whosampled.com data base used in these studies are highlighted. We move on to consider the case for radical ‘free for all’ approaches to policy on musical plagiarism. To this end, the work of digital libertarians Boldrin and Levine is expounded. Differences in the legal treatment of musical plagiarism, in different territories, are outlined. The chapter concludes with an in-depth case study of one particular recording—‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by The Verve and the provision of some discussion questions to stimulate further debate.
KeywordsInternational comparisons Digital libertarians Disruptive innovation
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