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Sean A. Pager

Does copyright foster the development of creative industries in developing countries? To answer, this chapter explores case studies from Nigeria, India, and China. It argues that copyright’s decentralized, market-driven incentives and allocative efficiencies offer distinct advantages over alternative models such as state patronage and commons-based development. The chapter emphasizes that copyright need not be embraced as an all-or-nothing proposition. Copyright norms can govern some aspects of creative industry operations, while remaining absent in other domains. Thus, high levels of piracy in developing countries are not necessarily incompatible with copyright. As industries develop, however, copyright’s benefits become more salient, and the logic of formalization exerts a gravitational pull. The chapter also examines the interplay between copyright and cultural diversity. It argues that the causal relationships here are complex and ambiguous. It is far from clear, however, that copyright markets are intrinsically hostile to diversity, and copyright’s absence poses its own set of concerns.