Chamber Of Commerce Lies Again: Attributes Millions Of Jobs To IP Laws Based On Flimsy Correlation

from the that's-not-true dept

Remember how we were just talking about Senator Chris Coons, and the fact that maybe (just maybe) he was realizing that pushing for ridiculously over-aggressive "anti-piracy" laws without understanding the details was a bad idea? Yeah, apparently that lesson didn't sink in very well. On Wednesday, Coons appeared at an event put on by the US Chamber of Commerce (the main lobbyists pushing for PIPA and SOPA), in which he called for new SOPA/PIPA-like laws and cheered on some ridiculously bogus "new research" from the US CoC claiming that "IP Creates Jobs for America."

The "research" uses the same bogus and debunked methodology that the US Chamber's "Global IP Center" has been championing for a while. First, you define what industries are considered "IP-intensive." You make this as broad as possible, so you include (for example) the tech industry (they get patents!), even though they're among the ones fighting to stop SOPA/PIPA-like laws, and also fighting to reform patent laws that have restricted innovation. Great. Then you list out all the jobs in those industries. And then you falsely claim that those are jobs that were "created by IP laws."

Except almost none of that is accurate. But it is a neat (though shameless) political scam to count those who are opposed to these kinds of laws and pretend they're in favor of them. Shame on Coons for falling for such blatant propaganda. Perhaps he should talk to his son, who explained to him why the bills he supported earlier this year would cause significant problems for the internet.

Meanwhile, as a part of this program, it appears that they're releasing totally misleading and laughable state-by-state profiles of how many "jobs" were "created" by IP. Here's California's (warning: pdf). It claims that IP supports 55% of the jobs in California's private sector -- and certainly suggests that those jobs wouldn't exist if we didn't have stronger IP laws (what with the big banner right above it declaring "IP Creates Jobs for California."

Yet the data shows no such thing. At no point do they even try to show a causal relationship between more draconian IP laws and more jobs. Because they know they can't. Instead, they use this bogus lumping together of any job that sorta kinda touches on IP laws and the massively ludicrous suggestion that those jobs only exist because of IP. I can understand why the Chamber of Commerce is promoting such a laughable study -- but it's a shame that a politician who claims to know better would fall for it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Play that fence!

    "Shame on Coons for falling for such blatant propaganda."
    If propaganda didn't work, nobody would use it.

    Besides, Coons is only human... and humans are provably fallible.

    Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt--perhaps he has the best of intentions and was simply suckered by a slick con-job; a very not-at-all-rare event in Washington DC I'd imagine.

     

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      The eejit (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Play that fence!

      Besides, Coons is only human... and humans are provably fallible.

      This is provably false. I know pigs can fly: just look at Chris Dodd.

       

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    DannyB (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:04am

    IP *does* create jobs for America

    IP creates jobs for patent lawyers, copyright lawyers and expert witnesses.

    IP also creates jobs in the USPTO for full time employed rubber-stampers.

    IP creates jobs for Google that need a small army to process the incoming DMCA takedowns.

    IP creates jobs for entrepreneurs who form new patent trolls.

    IP creates jobs for collection societies who don't even know what properties they own and can't be bothered to ever worry about what artists might be represented, let alone pass them any money.

    IP creates so many jobs that America will be able to bask in the prosperity. We can stop making homes, schools, cars, clothes, food and computers. No need. We can outsource those trivial things. IP will create an economic bounty of plenty.

     

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      Ninja (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:09am

      Re: IP *does* create jobs for America

      IP creates jobs for farmers, what would be of the poor farmers if Monsanto didn't give them their seeds!!!! Mike Masnick is a horrible person suggesting that IP laws are bad, if he has his ways we'll all die in hunger because there will be no crops to harvest! /lmao

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re: IP *does* create jobs for America

        Heck, even Mike's job depends on IP laws. What else would he have to complain about if retarded IP laws didn't exist?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:17am

          Re: Re: Re: IP *does* create jobs for America

          Frankly, I'd like to see him put time into training so he can box David Lowery into a hip replacement.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:11am

      Re: IP *does* create jobs for America

      Anything anyone does infringes on our IP laws and so the rest of the world owes us money for anything they do. Kinda like a tax. Then we can live off of the hard work of everyone else. Since we have the most powerful military we can do it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re: IP *does* create jobs for America

        I'm pretty sure you just summed up the entirety of the US foreign policy, actually, facetious or not

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:04am

    he didn't fall for it at all. he is in favour of it! anyone really think he gives a toss whether the Internet gets broken or not? did anyone really think he had taken notice of someone else, whether his kid or not? he should have had the balls to debunk the figures when he had the chance. perhaps then he would be believed!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:09am

    You make this as broad as possible, so you include (for example) the tech industry (they get patents!), even though they're among the ones fighting to stop SOPA/PIPA-like laws

    Funny how zealously the tech companies pursue patent litigation to protect their intellectual property while doing everything possible thwart copyright holders from protecting their own intellectual property. I believe that is called hypocrisy.

    and also fighting to reform patent laws that have restricted innovation.

    Really? Exactly what are the biggest tech firms doing legislatively to reform patent law to further innovation? I know there's activity among the have-nots, but the others holding the massive patent portfolios?????

     

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      Lowestofthekeys (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      Funny how zealously the tech companies pursue patent litigation to protect their intellectual property while doing everything possible thwart copyright holders from protecting their own intellectual property. I believe that is called hypocrisy.


      I know! Because all those tech companies just refuse to comply with legislation put into place by lobbyists with tons of money.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      "Funny how zealously the tech companies pursue patent litigation to protect their intellectual property while doing everything possible thwart copyright holders from protecting their own intellectual property. I believe that is called hypocrisy. "

      Off-topic, but, to be fair, tech companies actually produce something useful (as in, something that you depend on for work/life on a daily basis), as opposed to media companies that don't actually produce anything that I would call useful. Entertaining perhaps, but not useful.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:40am

      Re:

      But, on a more serious note:

      "Funny how zealously the tech companies pursue patent litigation to protect their intellectual property while doing everything possible thwart copyright holders from protecting their own intellectual property. I believe that is called hypocrisy."

      You are wrong: Google, for example and as shown by their transparency reports, goes to great lengths to comply with the law and protect the rights of authors. Others do the same, and some even provide platforms for artists to expand their fanbase and make more money. This comment has no basis on reality.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh please. Google was one of the main alarmists claiming that measures to protect copyright stifle innovation, while zealously defending their own intellectual property with out any acknowledgement of the effect that has on innovation. They talk out of both sides of their face.

         

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          Lowestofthekeys (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah cuz you know, Google doesn't do open source stuff.

           

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          Jeff (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Go find your tin-foil hat... Or more to point


          [Citation Needed]

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Oh please. Google was one of the main alarmists claiming that measures to protect copyright stifle innovation, while zealously defending their own intellectual property with out any acknowledgement of the effect that has on innovation. They talk out of both sides of their face."

          even if you're right your claim only proves that both copyright and patents are useless things that slows innovation

           

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          DC (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 6:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          1) "Oh Please" would suggest you are rebutting the point (aggressive compliance). The rest of your comment does nothing to rebut that.

          2) Thankfully that legislation got shot down, and didn't get a chance to damage the net.

          3) I did a quick search. Can you cite a case where Google initiated a patent suit?

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh please. Google was one of the main alarmists claiming that measures to protect copyright stifle innovation, while zealously defending their own intellectual property with out any acknowledgement of the effect that has on innovation. They talk out of both sides of their face.

          Name a single case where Google filed an offensive patent infringement suit. Go ahead. We'll wait.

          Oh, and they've spoken out vocally how the patent system harms innovation: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/when-patents-attack-android.html

          If you think Google likes the patent system, you're even more clueless than I thought.

          The real tech industry is not a fan of patents, but feels compelled to get them. I was at a White House roundtable discussion last year with 6 entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, and every one of them explained how patents were stifling their business.

          You don't seem to know much about the industry.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 7:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You don't seem to know much.

            FTFY Mike. That's the way you should have ended that comment, especially regarding who you were replying to.

             

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      John Fenderson (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      Funny how zealously the tech companies pursue patent litigation to protect their intellectual property


      The tech industry is largely opposed to patent abuse. You're talking about a small number of (large) bad companies, not the whole industry.

      while doing everything possible thwart copyright holders from protecting their own intellectual property


      Not hardly. Can you support this accusation? Because I see no evidence that this is true.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 1:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Why don't you correlate a list of tech patent litigants and SOPA opponents and get back to me.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why don't you just make your point?

          Your correlation fails because:

          1) most tech patent litigation is done by a tiny number of companies, not "the tech industry".

          2) most SOPA opponents were real people, not companies or tech patent litigants.

          so the list of outfits that are both means absolutely nothing.

           

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          DC (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 6:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You made the assertion. It was challenged as false. I think it falls to you to make that list supporting your assertion.

          It won't support your assertion, but it is on you to make the list and support your assertion.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why don't you correlate a list of tech patent litigants and SOPA opponents and get back to me.


          Actually, it's pretty tough to find any of the anti-SOPA companies who have filed patent lawsuits on the offensive side (they may be defendants, but not offensively).

          Google: never sued offensively, though defending tons of patent lawsuits.
          Mozilla: never sued offensively.
          Facebook: never sued offensively (though is counterclaiming in the Yahoo suit).
          Twitter: never sued offensively.

          The major companies who fought SOPA are not big patent system supporters. Most of them have large portfolios for defensive purposes, not offensive.

           

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:47am

      Re:

      Exactly what are the biggest tech firms doing legislatively to reform patent law to further innovation?

      Tons of tech companies have lobbied for patent reform. You are completely ignorant if you think that big tech companies are happy with today's patent laws.

      I know there's activity among the have-nots, but the others holding the massive patent portfolios?????

      Yup. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Cisco, IBM, Intel -- all giants with large patent portfolios. All have pushed for patent reform.

       

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:10am

    It's (mostly) true!

    Without IP there would be no:
    patent trolls
    IP enforcement agencies
    copyright lawsuits

    I'm sure there are more, and each of these represent some non-zero number of jobs, so IP definitely creates jobs, although I greatly question whether or not they could be considered "for" America.

    The real question is how many MORE jobs were never created because of draconian IP enforcement?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:17am

    I fully recommend kidnapping patent trolls: those people who intentionally buy up thousands of patents and then use them solely to sue, all without ever bothering to build a product or service. Kidnap them, bring them to these meetings, stick them in front of cameras, and ask them two questions.
    1) How many patents do you own?
    2) How many employees do you have?

    I will not be surprised to learn that these people will have few to zero employees.
    Then ask the CoC guys why patents and copyrights are so great.

     

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      weneedhelp (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      Us: How many employees do you have?

      Them: Including lawyers?

      Us:[Facepalm]

       

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:41am

      Re: Patent Troll Index

      That's a good idea!

      We could devise and list a patent troll index, which is simply a list of patent holders which a number which reflects their # of patents / # of employees.

      Examples (complete with BS Guesstimates)
      IBM: 10000p / 250000e == 0.04 a nice low 'troll index'
      Patent Troll 7: 500000p / 3e = 166666.667 a very high 'troll index'

      That'd make a nice easy way to distinguish who's a stupid asshat in need of "disappearing" due to their abusing the system and creating nothing of economic value, versus those who innovate & produce things.


      Hmmm, we might also need a 'troll index vs lawsuits' number as well to indicate their litigiousness.

       

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      Niall (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 7:37am

      Re:

      I vote to just send in the Three Billy Goats Gruff!

       

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:18am

    This is a bit off topic, but I can't help notice how "Chamber of Commerce" constantly reminds me of "Dungeons and Dragons".

    Chamber = Dungeon, and the world which is set has dragons in it, trying to best opponents through trickery and lies.

    The only difference between reality and fantasy: I can't roll a twenty and make the commerce go away.

    As for the topic: I'm no longer affected by these types of articles. They don't bother me, because the issue is so commonplace.

    What really bugs me is how little this information gets out there unless someone takes down a web page or more.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:22am

      Re:

      Really? It reminds me of a chamberpot. Seems appropriate too.

       

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      Rich, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      Which is funny because TSR once tried to sue other game companies because they believed they had a copyright on any gaming system that used "paper & pencil."

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:21pm

        Re: Re:

        TSR once tried to sue other game companies because they believed they had a copyright on any gaming system that used "paper & pencil."


        I don't think that is accurate (and couldn't find anything supporting it). TSR did have a legal brouhaha with rec.games.frp.dnd around user-created add-ons to D&D, but that was about trademarks and supposed copyright violations directly relating to TSR materials, not about the concept of using paper & pencil.

        Are you talking about something else?

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 2:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't think that is accurate (and couldn't find anything supporting it). TSR did have a legal brouhaha with rec.games.frp.dnd around user-created add-ons to D&D, but that was about trademarks and supposed copyright violations directly relating to TSR materials, not about the concept of using paper & pencil.

          Are you talking about something else?


          Wasn't this eventually the basis of D20? The push by WotC to "open source" their stuff by allowing their fans to use the concepts of the game without using the WotC/TSR trademarked Dungeons & Dragons(TM) name?

          If I remember correctly, it was more a brouhaha over their trademark than any copyrights -- they were fine with their fans coming up with new material (and they even paid for the rights to publish a great deal of them) so long as they didn't use Dungeons and Dragons or D&D on their material. I have a lot of D20 (yes, I still am nerdy enough to play D&D, still prefer first edition rules, though I like some of the stuff they did in 3rd edition to make the game easier,) and nowhere does the material say Dungeons & Dragons. I believe I even went so far as to sign the D20 license at one point because I wanted to produce stuff myself.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 3:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, that's correct.

            Although they initially weren't fine with fan-based add-ons, but fell back to the "just don't use our trademarks, then" position when their customers pushed back and they realized the trademark issue was the only legal leg they had to stand on.

             

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          Rich, May 31st, 2012 @ 5:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This was way before Usenet was prevalent, and way, way before D20. I will try to find something relevant.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:26am

    USCOC is one of the most dirtiest organizations I ever read about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:32am

    "and certainly suggests that those jobs wouldn't exist if we didn't have stronger IP laws (what with the big banner right above it declaring "IP Creates Jobs for California." "

    ...and you get upset and comment writers who infer things. Holy crap, you are working hard there dude.

     

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    George M.O.U. Jefferson, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:41am

    When, as a "nation", you've been totally raped and robbed blind of all the things you used to make (except bombs and laws that use phony made-up artificial legal bullshit terms like "Intellectual Property"), you're fucked unless you can afford endless lawyer bills and endless war.

    Oh, snap! Look who I'm talking to. So, where are you going to get all the money to pay for all your lawyers and your huge war making paranoia industry? You're already the world's most indebted nation.

    Btw, feeding lawyers is what "I.P." is really all about - the last of the "food-chain" and the lowest form of "life" to feed - like bacteria gnawing at the bones of dead carcasses (i.e. - yours).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    IP creates jobs, by risking other peoples jobs, nice logic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Well, IP itself doesn't create jobs outside of working with the laws, but it sure does protect jobs from people that would do it better. Who needs two companies trying to make products and always improving them, when you can have one of those companies file a patent, stop the other company from improving, and then hiring all their people. Well, except for the fact that the surviving company likely won't need two of all the supporting departments like HR or procument or finance departments, or that other building and facilities. All those jobs don't matter anyways right?

     

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    ECA (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Strange little fact.

    Something to ascertain from the numbers...

    HOW MANY JOBS are there in the USA?
    For each person working there are 3-4 that ARENT..
    1/4-1/3 of the USA works.
    The only times we have had the MOST persons working??
    During war.
    Because we can send 10% of our nation to WAR, means there are jobs in the War industry.

    After WAR, what happened?
    That 10% came home and there are NO JOBS.
    What makes a RICH person make JOBS?
    That is easy. TAKE his money away.
    Up until 1970's the Tax on corps/rich was VERY HIGH.
    They wanted OUR MONEY. they ran after us. They spread out to every place they could get people to BUY their goods.
    What has changed?
    Transportation.
    Insted of walking to the nearest store..WE DRIVE 20 miles to get a good deal(we hope)
    There are NO LOCAL stores.

    Another STRANGE thing is VALUE of goods.
    Every time the Gov. puts Prints MORE money into the economy, it Lowers what we are paid. Value stays the same.
    Say something is worth 10% of the WHOLE of GDP. it STAYS at that value.
    If you insert MORE money into the market, the Worth of that product STAYS at 10%. but your wages didnt change. you ware WORTH LESS.
    Everything GOES UP, as the gov. inserts MORE MONEY into the markets. the VALUE of all products goes up in price. Except your wages.
    Those on TOP. Invest in PRODUCTS/GOODS and those have Value. They get MORE money.

    Good luck finding something of VALUE.

     

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    Drew Wilson, May 31st, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Already Debunked

    Hey Mike,

    Thought I'd let you know I thoroughly debunked that particular study last week: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/101045/the-pseudo-science-of-the-ip-creates-jobs-for-america-report/

    ...twice actually: http://www.zeropaid.com/news/101055/busting-down-the-ip-intensive-buzz-word/

    Only posting this so you don't have to re-invent the wheel. Took me a few hours to find a portion of the flaws but there's lots to be found.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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