Date of This Version
copyright, moral rights, Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA)
Beginning in 1979, certain states extended extra copyright protection, known as "moral rights" protection, to visual artists. Moral rights protection, which was incorporated into U.S. copyright law in 1990, ensures that works cannot be altered in a manner that would negatively impact the reputation of the artist. Using difference-in-differences regression strategies, we compare artists and non-artists in states with moral rights laws to those in states without these laws, before and after the laws are enacted. This enables us to test the impact of the laws on the behavior of artists, consumers, and policy makers. Our analysis reveals that artists’ incomes fall by over $4000 per year as a result of moral rights legislation, but we find no impact of the laws on artists’ choices of residence or on state-level public spending on the arts.
Working Paper Number
Boyle, Melissa; O'Connor, Debra; and Nazzaro, Stacy, "Moral Rights Protection for the Visual Arts" (2008). Economics Department Working Papers. Paper 51.