from the it's-feeling-frosty-in-here dept
Matt Schruers, from CCIA has an interesting blog post up which ties actions like those done by Dropbox here with a new study showing how the chilling effects of bad copyright law can impact innovation. The full study (pdf) is actually something of a follow up to an earlier study we wrote about, which showed how good judicial rulings on copyright which allowed for greater innovation (such as the Cablevision ruling, which allowed cloud-based DVRs to exist) contributed directly to greater funding of innovation.
This new study, also by Harvard professor Josh Lerner, highlights the unfortunate opposite impact: the chilling effects on investment in innovation that comes as a result of anti-innovation judicial rulings. In this case, Lerner looked at specific rulings in the EU:
We analyze the effects of a court ruling in France and several court rulings in Germany on VC investment in cloud computing firms in these countries. These court rulings were seen as negatively affecting the development of cloud computing, and our findings confirm this view by showing that these rulings regarding the scope of copyrights had significant, negative impacts on investment. Specifically, we find that VC investment in cloud computing firms declined in Germany and France, relative to the rest of the EU, after the French and German rulings. Our results suggest that these rulings led to an average reduction in VC investment in French and German cloud computing firms of $4.6 and $2.8 million per quarter, respectively. This implies a total decrease in French and German VC investment of $87 million over an approximately three year period. When paired with the findings of the enhanced effects of VC investment relative to corporate investment, this may be the equivalent of $269.7 million in traditional R&D investment.Combine these two studies and you can see how these chilling effects can be quite massive in terms of investment in innovation. Of course, investment alone is not the sole determinant of the pace or success of innovation, but it is a key factor. And scaring investors away from innovations can have a major impact on the public and the economy.