For Every Entertainment Industry Job 'Lost' To Infringement, Could 12 Jobs Be Created Elsewhere?
from the fun-with-stats dept
For years we’ve debunked various entertainment industry studies claiming ridiculous job and economic “losses” from copyright infringement. These studies tend to have all sorts of problems; ignoring the ability to adapt and to introduce new business models, using “ripple effects” in just one direction to double, triple and quadruple count the same “losses” over and over again, and counting every download as a “lost sale.” The ripple effects one is especially pernicious because the industry likes to pretend that the impacts of infringement only go in one direction. They ignore that the money not spent on such content doesn’t disappear from the economy but can be used elsewhere — perhaps in areas that provide greater economic growth.
A few years ago, the folks at CCIA smartly took the copyright industry’s exact methodology and showed that for all the claims of how much copyright contributed to the economy, exceptions to copyright contributed even more. While the copyright maximalists totally missed the point and attacked the methodology — not realizing that, in doing so, they had undermined their own methodology — the point was made. If you believe the claims from the copyright industry, then you also have to believe that the exceptions are more important. The methodology is the same, so either neither are right or both are right.
It looks like Rick Falkvinge, of The Pirate Party, has now done something similar on the “job loss” side of things, and concluded that, using similar methodology to the industry reports, for every job “lost” by copyright infringement, the positive ripple effects in the other direction mean that 11.8 new jobs are created. So if we accept the claim that 1.2 million jobs can be lost due to infringement, it would mean that a separate 14.2 million jobs were created elsewhere.
The report broke down the “creative industry,” by noting that (contrary to copyright maximalist claims), most of that industry doesn’t actually rely on copyright to make money. In fact, certain “creative” industries could be seen as “copyright-inhibited.” For example, advertising. As we constantly hear from copyright maximalists, various sites are making big bucks by using advertising in association with file sharing. So based on the industry’s own argument, it seems that the advertising market is clearly copyright-inhibited, and it would grow if there was greater infringement. After going through the numbers, it was determined that the majority of GDP, by quite a bit, are likely in the “copyright-inhibited” arena.