Copyright provides a (somewhat temporary) monopoly that allows the holder to extract rents by limiting access to the copyrighted work. This paper
by Giovanni Ramello writes about some literature that has been interesting in how some industries have been trying to expand their market shares by exploiting these monopolies to the point of excluding new entrants. He documents this with the example of the publishing industry whether the major players keep increasing the stranglehold on the industry.
We have certainly seen this happening in the scientific publishing industry, where the number of players keeps decreasing through mergers and acquisitions. But this is a good opportunity to remind ourselves that there is a movement trying to counter this: Open Access. And it so happens that this week is Open Access Week. So spread the good word about the free dissemination of research!
Hat tip: Economic Logic