Copyright piracy in US costs $16.3 billion


MUMBAI: Approximately 373,375 Americans are currently unemployed and unable to share $16.3 billion in earnings because of motion picture, sound recording, video game and software pirates, according to a report by the Department of Labor on September’s unemployment numbers submitted by the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI).

Absent piracy, 373,375 new jobs would have been added to the US economy. Of this amount, 123,814 jobs would have been added in the copyright or “downstream” retail industries, while 249,561 jobs would have been added in other US industries.

Copyright piracy costs US workers $16.3 billion annually in lost earnings. Of this amount, $7.2 billion would have been earned by workers in the copyright industries while $9.1 billion would have been earned by workers in other US industries.

These findings are published in the IPI report ‘The True Cost of Copyright Piracy to the US Economy’, the first study to analyze the overall effect of copyright piracy upon the overall economy.

Author of the IPI report and principal with Economists, Inc., Stephen E. Siwek commented, “Copyright piracy harms a broad segment of the US economy that extends far beyond the US companies that distribute copyright-protected works.”

“These estimates underscore the true magnitude of the copyright piracy problem to the U.S. economy as a whole,” concluded Siwek. 

This analysis is the third and final in a series of intellectual property papers examining the overall economic impact of copyright piracy and patent infringement.