Keywords: European Union; Copyright; Competition Policy; Cultural Industries; Digital Indus.
The actual debate about copyright refers more to the distribution of value produced in industrial chains generated from reproducible cultural contents than to the traditional issue of searching a compromise in the tradeoff between protection of reward for creators (affordability of fixed costs needed for creation) and dissemination of cultural goods. This reflects the position of traditional cultural industries in the new digital framework, with difficulties concentrated in particular in Continental Europe countries. Between cultural and digital industry however there is room not only for conflict but also for large and increasing cooperation and interaction in new business models. Digital markets are far from being competitive and their unprecedented monopolistic concentration at the global scale raises concerns. The recent European Union copyright reform contains a mix of pro-competitive and protectionist measures, but it is partial and far from being comprehensive. New technologies can help in finding models of copyright management that reduce transaction costs. In perspective, a deeper insight seems necessary around the grounds of the copyright system. This paper is an introduction and a summary of the contributions contained in the thematic section of this issue of Economia della Cultura.