Copyright Defenders Don't Realize That New 'Fair Use' Report Mocks Their Own Study

from the fair-use-this dept

Last year, we had written about how the CCIA had taken the same methodology used by entertainment industry lobbyists to claim how "big" the "copyright industry" was and applied it to the "fair use" industry, to show that it was actually much bigger than the copyright industry. Both numbers are clearly bogus -- which is effectively the point that CCIA was making. The point that is clear, however, is that if you accept the methodology that claims that "copyright" brings $1.52 trillion into the economy, then weaker copyright/exceptions to copyright (such as fair use) bring in $2.2 trillion. Lots of folks have been submitting the news that the CCIA just recently updated the report to show that we're now talking about $4.7 trillion contributed by the "fair use industries." Again, this number is bogus -- but it's main point is to show just how silly the copyright lobbyist's argument that copyright contributes $1.52 trillion to the economy is, because it uses the same methodology -- a point recently confirmed by the GAO.

So I have to admit that it's absolutely hilarious to see Patrick Ross, the head of "The Copyright Alliance" (one of a bunch of lobbying/marketing groups representing the entertainment industry) lash out at this new report, making arguments that apply equally to the $1.52 trillion number he's famous for touting every chance he gets:
"It is not helpful to policymakers or the public to pronounce sweeping arguments that defy logic," said Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross. "In its report, CCIA identifies broad industries, suggests some entities in those industries occasionally engage in what some might call fair use, and then lumps all revenues and jobs in those industries into a newly coined "fair use" industry..."
But, as we've noted, that's exactly the same methodology that was used by the copyright industry to defend the $1.52 trillion number. The methodology is a joke. It identifies broad industries (including things like furniture!), suggests some entities in those industries occasionally engage in what some might call copyright, and then lumps all revenues and jobs in those industries into a newly coined 'copyright' industry...

And guess who one of the biggest abusers of this bogus $1.52 trillion number is? You guessed it! It's Patrick Ross! He tosses the number around like it's going out of style and is regularly quoted in the press using that number as well.

Apparently, he's so wrapped up in this issue, he doesn't quite realize that the whole point of the CCIA report is to use the same methodology to show that if he and those who fund him are going to keep throwing around that $1.52 trillion number, they need to also note that the exceptions to copyright creates an industry that's even bigger. So I'm curious, Patrick, why is it "not helpful to policymakers" to use this number, when the number you throw out to policymakers all the time uses the same methodology?
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Filed Under: copyright, fair use, studies

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2010 @ 11:07am


    "i wish the masnick would come down as hard to bogus Anti-monopoly reports as he does on the pro-monopoly ones"

    Fixed that for you.

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