MUMBAI: News reports are narrating the story of how Microsoft helped bring down a $900 million global software piracy ring. But the damage from these software pirates is only a mere fraction of the overall costs caused by copyright piracy to the US economy each year.
According to a report released last fall by the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), global theft of copyright-protected products, including business and entertainment software, motion pictures, video games and sound recordings has cost the US a staggering $58 billion in economic output and 373,375 jobs annually.
The report, “The True Cost of Copyright Industry Piracy to the US Economy,” sheds light on the injuries from copyright piracy to the national economy as a whole, not just to U.S. copyright producers and industries.
Because of global and US-based piracy of copyrighted material, every year:
– The US economy loses $58 billion;
– US workers lose 373,375 jobs;
– US workers lose $16.3 billion in earnings, including $7.2 billion in earnings from workers in the sound recording industry or “downstream” retail industries, and $9.1 billion in earnings by workers in other US industries; and
– The US government loses at least $2.6 billion in tax revenues, including $1.8 billion in personal income tax and $800 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.
“Piracy harms not only the owners of intellectual property but also US consumers, workers and taxpayers,” says , author of the report and principal with Economists Stephen E. Siwek. “It is clear that the problem of copyright piracy should be afforded a prominent place on the policy agenda in coming years.”