Greater Fair Use Helped The Singapore Economy
from the as-it-should dept
The counterfactual impact analysis of fair use amendments in Singapore undertaken here demonstrates that flexible fair use policy positively influences growth rates in private copying technology industries. In 2010, five years after the policy intervention, Singapore's fair use amendments are correlated with a 3.33% increase in value-added (as % of GDP) for private copying technology industries. Prior to the amendment of fair use policies, private copying technology industries experienced - 1.97% average annual growth. After the changes were introduced, the same industries enjoyed a 10.18% average annual growth rate. This resulted in a total increase of € 2.27 billion in value-added for private copying technology industries in that period. The results show that, prior to fair use amendments, the private copying industries in Singapore were in recession. After fair use amendments, this group experienced a rapid increase in growth rates and continued to exhibit strong growth over the five year period.Yes, that part is just about correlation -- and, as we know, correlation does not necessarily show causation. However, with additional research, you can sometimes show the linkage, and thankfully, this report tries to do so -- by looking at a "control group" of companies in tech manufacturing and services, who weren't directly impacted by changes in fair use. In that case, there was basically no growth.
Finally, the report then also looked at the "copyright industry" and whether it lost significant revenue because of this change (and specifically if the increases on the "private copying technology industries" are drowned out by decreases from copyright companies). But, no such luck:
There was no significant change in growth rates for the copyright group before and after fair use amendments when measured in terms of real economic growth (value added as % of GDP).There was some slowing of the growth rate, but not as a % of GDP (so, in real terms). The conclusion is pretty clear:
We suggest fair use amendments in Singapore did not negatively affect the copyright industries significantly because private copying technologies, which experienced high growth as an industry group after the fair use amendments, increase the value of copyrighted works to consumers. While one might expect a rise in private copying technology industries to result in a significant recession for the copyright industries, this has not been the case in Singapore since the introduction of more flexible fair use policy in 2005.This seems important, especially considering that very few countries have expansive fair use provisions in copyright law -- and when they try to implement them, they're often shot down as legacy players insist that fair use would "put a chokehold" on their industries. The evidence seems to really suggest quite the opposite. But, we're not dealing with people used to caring about evidence, when pushing anti-fair use agendas.
The counterfactual impact analysis results for the Singapore case study show that fair use policy is correlated with higher growth rates in private copying technology industries, while having a very limited impact on copyright industries.