Study: Fair Use Contributes Trillions to U.S. Economy (and all economies)

28 04 2010

One study after another purports to chronicle how much intellectual property piracy hurts the economy, and contributes to every societal ill from terrorism to child porn and slavery. A new study unveiled Tuesday sets out to examine intellectual property in a different light: How fair use — which doesn’t require permission from the copyright holder — actually benefits the economy. The trade group, Computer & Communications Industry Association, in a follow-up to its 2007 report, asks: “What contribution is made to our economy by industries that depend on the limitations to copyright protection when engaged in commerce?” For the year 2007, the fair-use economy accounted for USD 4.7 trillion in revenue (.pdf) and USD 2.2 trillion in value added, roughly one-sixth the total gross domestic product of the United States, according to the study. The fair-use economy also employed more than 17 million people with a USD 1.2 trillion payroll. Fair-use-dependent industries include educational institutions, search engines, web hosting providers, software developers and device manufacturers, among others. The association’s membership includes Microsoft, Google, eBay, AMD, Yahoo, Oracle and others

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