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The effect of copyright on the digitisation and availability of visual artworks

 Centre for Economic Policy Research: “There is an ongoing debate on the need for protection of creative works to ensure availability and distribution. This column exploits a change in copyright protection in the US to examine how copyright affects the digitisation and distribution of artworks over the internet. The authors find a strong increase in online image availability for original artworks that move into the public domain. Analysis of worldwide Google image search data reveals that digital artwork surrogates made available online are heavily reused downstream, suggesting they are of measurable high public and commercial value.”

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