ArtsWatch: Core Copyright Tops $1 Trillion

New IIPA numbers for U.S. copyright industries quantify creativity's economic impact
November 25, 2013 -- 6:54 am PST
By Philip Merrill /

In recent news ...

The IP Economy Reaches Major Milestone
On Nov. 19 the International Intellectual Property Alliance released "Copyright Industries In The U.S. Economy: The 2013 Report," finding that core copyright industries were responsible for approximately 6.5 percent of the United States' gross domestic product in 2012, adding $1 trillion in value to the economy and employing approximately 5.4 million people. The RIAA blogged, "Yes, that's Trillion with a 'T'" and called attention to IIPA's infographic that visually summarizes the report. "Between 2009 and 2012, these industries grew at a rate of 4.7 percent, that's more than twice as much as the entire U.S. economy," added MPAA Chairman/CEO Chris Dodd in a separate blog. "And who knows how much larger that will be in the next three years, if we work together as a society to create and enforce effective laws that will continue fostering the tremendous economic growth and contributions of those who create and innovate." The report was prepared by Stephen E. Siwek, a principal at Economists Incorporated, and is the latest update in a long line of comparable research studies. In 2012 Siwek's methodology influenced the Department of Commerce's first-ever effort to quantify intellectual property-intensive industries in the U.S. economy, and that in turn influenced the European Commission's first-ever study that was released in October. While statistics alone can be dry, these numbers should garner attention and improve government support for intellectual property.

Authors Guild To Appeal Google Books Decision
The Google Books case before the Southern District of New York's U.S. District Court reached what the Authors Guild described as the end of "round one" on Nov. 14, as Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled that the digitization project was a protected fair use. Authors Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken said, "Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world's valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of fair use defense. We plan to appeal the decision." The case began in 2005 and demonstrates major litigation's slow pace and high costs while digital content and the Internet are continually transforming society.

Latest Copyright Hearing Highlights Progress, Looks At Next Steps
On Nov. 19 the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet continued its series of copyright review hearings with a hearing titled "The Rise Of Innovative Business Models: Content Delivery Methods In The Digital Age." Mobile developer Sebastian Holst offered a variety of insights drawn both from his work with analytics and in creating antipiracy software for apps and as a publisher of mobile yoga content. In his testimony he described the unique experience of discovering his app had been bounced from the number one spot by a new competitor who had illegally copied his app's content. Fortunately, the store promptly removed the infringer, but many other app developers have suffered delays in the same situation. The MPAA reviewed digital progress on the movie front, and the Center for Democracy and Technology spoke on how the progress pertains to consumer advocacy. Amazon Vice President for Global Public Policy Paul Misener provided a tour of the company's extensive offerings, and how things have changed from an earlier time when had to explain to videotape customers "Just What Is DVD?" In addition to Amazon's need for the open Internet approach to continue, Misener's suggestions for the future addressed his hope that statutory damages could be narrowed in scope as well as the need for a streamlined approach to content licensing, especially since it is often difficult to identify or find the correct licensor.

Latest TPP Leak Courtesy Of WikiLeaks
International negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement resumed in Salt Lake City on Nov. 19, accompanied by criticism from consumer advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. On Nov. 13 WikiLeaks published a working draft and Julian Assange said, "The U.S. administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the U.S. legislative process on the sly." Secret negotiations have long been standard for these types of international agreements and this conventional approach is a target for consumer advocates. Last year an online TPP draft was published by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on a dedicated website that stated, "The public has a strong desire for the federal government to engage in an open and collaborative process on matters impacting the Internet." Statements to reassure the public after this latest leak were made by IIPA and MPAA, but the controversy is only marginally about actual TPP provisions. For groups and individuals who see themselves as international Internet freedom fighters, the TPP is just one of several battlegrounds for assembly and outcry.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

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