RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 223392681 LA English T1 Network externalities and the myth of profitable piracy A1 King, Stephen P., Lampe, Ryan., Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia., PB Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia PP Melbourne, Vic. YR 2002 AB Recent papers have argued that a firm might be able to raise its profit by allowing some customers to steal its product. In particular, with network externalities, so that customers value the product more highly the more widely the product is used, it is claimed that piracy can be profitable. In this paper, the authors analyse these claims when the producer can freely choose the degree of piracy prevention. They show that piracy can never be profitable if the producer can directly price discriminate between potential pirates and other customers. In the absence of price discrimination, piracy will only raise profits when the ability to pirate is inversely related to customer willingness-to-pay. Even in this situation, there is no profit maximising equilibrium where some potential pirates buy while others pirate the product. Thus, even though potential pirates differ in their ability to illegally gain the product, the profit maximising outcome involves either no piracy or complete piracy.