You know how we hear so much about piracy destroying the entertainment industry? Well, not according to the industry itself. The Intellectual Property Alliance's report on the health of the industry paints a rosy picture, which begs the question: why are we prepared to sacrifice free speech, free assembly, privacy, and human rights for an industry that outperforms the US economy overall, nets more foreign profits than the pharmaceutical industry or the food sector, and is enjoying year-on-year growth?
The International Intellectual Property Alliance unveiled the new report today in association with the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus at an event in Washington, DC. The report doesn't even try to quantify losses to piracy anymore--last year, an official US government report concluded that such estimates were all deeply unreliable. Instead, it simply asserts without evidence that "piracy inhibits… growth in the US and around the world."
"Inhibits growth" doesn't quite equal "causes staggering job losses," the traditional anti-piracy rallying cry. Indeed, copyright industries are being "hard hit" by piracy in the way that plenty of other US industries are desperate to get "hit." (In this sense, the report is bit like the MPAA's routine announcements of record-setting box office revenues even as the movie studios conjure visions of apocalypse.)
During the recession of the last few years, the report shows that copyright-based businesses have far exceeded the US economy as a whole.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.