The Capital Value of Copyright Assets in Finland

15 April 2012, Finland

In May 2009 Foundation for Cultural Policy Research (Cupore) established a project for developing a methodology for assessing national copyright and related rights systems.

The objective of the project is to form a set of evaluation methods for developing copyright and related rights policies and strategies, as well as the copyright and related rights system on the national and international level. The project is financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

During the methodology project, additional topics for further study were identified, one of them being the evaluation of the value of national copyright assets.

Cupore commissioned this pilot study in cooperation with the Finnish Copyright Society from Business and Innovation Development (BID), a special unit operating within the University of Turku. The assignment was to identify and describe briefly the possible methods for evaluating the capital value of copyright assets, and to apply the most feasible of them to make an estimation of the national copyright assets in Finland. The study was prepared by Petteri Sinervo and Timo E. Toivonen. Cupore and the Finnish Copyright Society would like to thank the authors.

The analysis of the capital value of copyright assets adds to the understanding of the copyright system´s functioning. The pilot study at hand concentrates on the repertoire which is in active use and estimates the capital value of copyrighted works for companies. It offers information complementary to the figures of contribution of copyright-based industries to the national GDP. It also complements the evaluation of direct copyright revenue streams made by Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, published in the Finnish Copyright Institute’s series of publications in 2010.

Yet, alternative approaches need to be considered to analyze the asset value of protected subject matter that is not in active use or creating money flows, and the value of works in the public domain.
Measuring the value of these two categories of works will be subject to important choices of approach. One should examine whether it is the cost (production value) approach, the potential future value in revenue, or e.g. the cultural or historical value of these works, that matters.