IPPA Study: Copyright Industries Critical to U.S. Economy

Posted on 8/14/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (1)

A late July study from the International Intellectual Property Alliance shows that U.S. copyright industries continue to lead the economy in their contributions to job growth, gross domestic product and exports. Though the study does not take into consideration recent economic events, it does demonstrate an encouraging, consistently upward progression of revenues and other growth indicators over a five-year period, highlighting the need for stronger laws and their enforcement.

The 2003–2007 study demonstrates that the real annual growth rates achieved by copyright industries were more than twice those achieved by the entire U.S. economy. The copyright industries’ contribution to general economic growth of the country is disproportionately high: in 2007, copyright industries contributed more than 43% of the real growth achieved for the U.S. economy as a whole. In the same year, copyright industries generated $1.52 trillion or 11% of GDP.

Foreign sales of U.S. copyright product are also growing, having risen by 8% from $116 billion in 2006 to nearly $126 billion in 2007 and significantly exceeding sales of other industries—notably those of aircraft, automobile, agricultural, food and pharmaceutical segments.

U.S. copyright industries employed 11.7 million people, or 8.5% of the country’s workforce, in 2007. The average annual compensation of $66,498 exceeded the U.S. average by 18%.

According to IPPA, the 2003–2007 study stresses the continuing need for the U.S. Government to focus on the economic and social importance of the creative industries—by providing a safer environment that enforces copyright laws and takes into account changes in technology and new infringement threats that undermine creativity and innovation.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


  • Jim Pickerell Posted Aug 14, 2009
    These figures may be somewhat misleading as the revenue generated by "copyright industries" includes the gross revenue collected from photography, music, newspapers, magazines, books, software, fine art, etc -- all the products that are copyrightable. However, in many cases the actual creators of the copyrighted works are receiving a declining share of the gross revenue collected while the publishers, distributors and other middlemen take a larger and larger share of the gross fee paid by the customer.

    I'm not claiming that all middlemen are gouging creators, and or that they are taking an unfair share of what customers pay. Their cost of doing business have gone up, and they must try to find some way to recover those costs. Nevertheless, it is usually the creator who loses in these transactions. The creator needs the middleman in order to make his product available to the consumer. The middleman sells at a price the "market will bear" and structures his share to cover his costs and generate a reasonable profit. The remainder, no matter how meager, is the creators share.

    Don't be led into thinking that a growth in the sale of copyrighted material means a growth in revenue for creators.

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