International Anti-Piracy Caucus Spotlights Economic Study on the Contribution of the U.S. Copyright Industries

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus Co-Chairs, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), hosted a press conference on the release of the Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2011 ReportThe report, prepared by Economists Incorporated for the International Intellectual Property Alliance, demonstrates the continuing positive impact these industries have on the U.S. economy in terms of contribution to GDP, high-paying jobs and international trade. 

“Today’s report reminds us of the enormous economic importance of the American copyright industries and the many jobs they create,” Senator Whitehouse said.  “We should celebrate our country’s continued success producing movies, music, and software, but also must protect these jobs from digital piracy and other forms of theft.”  

“We’ve long known how important the U.S. copyright industries are to the economy, and today’s report underscores that fact,” Senator Hatch said. “Maintaining strong IP rights is essential to economic growth and continued American innovation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to protect and strengthen our nation’s largest export.”

“The International Intellectual Property Alliance’s 2011 report on the economic impact of copyright industries reaffirms that the U.S. copyright industries are one of America’s chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global marketplace,” Rep. Goodlatte said.  “We in Congress must promote policies that ensure the U.S. continues to lead the world in innovation and that the copyright industry in America remains a driving force and job-creating engine of our economy.”

"As this study demonstrates yet again, America's competitive advantage lies in our endlessly creative people," Rep. Schiff said. "The jobs and economic activity generated by copyright-dependent industries are threatened by the rampant piracy of intellectual property, and I hope this report spurs Congress to take additional action against those who profit from the theft of ideas." 

“The U.S. copyright industry is an economic engine for the country, and independents contribute a significant portion by producing the most films in the U.S.,” said Jean Prewitt, President-CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. “In all, U.S. copyright products, including independent films, account for $134 billion in foreign sales - a major increase over previous years.”

"Today’s report highlights the value of the video game industry to the U.S. economy and its role as a source of high quality jobs,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association.  “The video game industry is built on intellectual property, and is generating high wages and significantly higher economic growth than the rest of the U.S. economy.   Continued robust growth depends upon sustained commitments by U.S. trading partners to mutually protect increasingly valuable intellectual property.” 

“America’s creative industries including the songwriting and music publishing communities continue to generate jobs and economic growth, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all private sector jobs in 2010,” said David Israelite, President and CEO, National Music Publishers’ Association. “Our industries also continue to contribute significantly to a positive balance of trade for America - $134 billion worth in exports. That exceeds other sectors of the economy like aircraft, automobiles, agricultural products and pharmaceuticals. America’s copyright industries continue to be a key driver in our economy, and leadership from the International Anti-Piracy Caucus in Congress is key to maintaining an environment for ongoing success.”

“This report confirms the strength and importance of the U.S. copyright sectors,” said Tom Allen, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers.  “For the book and journal publishing industry, our growth and expansion worldwide is primarily because of significant financial, creative, technological and human capital investments.  Yet this momentum, particularly in the global digital space, is threatened by online piracy.  It is critical that Congress act to reduce digital piracy and protect the value of American intellectual property.”

“This report underscores yet again the extraordinary resilience of software and the other copyright industries in the face of difficult economic times,” said Robert Holleyman, II, President and CEO, Business Software Alliance. “Copyright industries are creating jobs and driving growth throughout the economy, and the reason is simple — we are producing creative and innovative products that are in high demand around the world.”

“This report offers compelling proof of just how important strengthening copyright protection is to protect and expand the number of American jobs,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, Recording Industry Association of America.  “The core copyright industries now employ more than 5 million workers in 2010, or nearly 4 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. On a wider scale, the broader copyright community employed more than 10.6 million workers in 2010 – that’s more than 8 percent of total U.S. employment. These are all good-paying, private sector jobs that anchor communities across the country and stimulate local economies. While these numbers are encouraging, unfortunately, we should have an even more positive story to tell. During the past decade, the U.S. music business for example has declined more than $7 billion in value, and has shed thousands of jobs, primarily due to the impact of online music theft. Together, these facts should be a wakeup call to Congress that we need to do a better job in protecting industries that are central to our nation’s competitiveness, which is why legislation aimed at rogue sites is more important than ever.”

“In a struggling economy that has 9 percent or more unemployment, America’s creative community – those whose jobs and businesses are involved in the production of movies, music, books, and other forms of intellectual property – can be a driving force for putting Americans back to work,” said Michael O’Leary, Senior Executive Vice President, Global Policy and External Affairs, Motion Picture Association of America. “But the threat posed by the theft of the products we create is real and has a direct impact on the nearly 5.1 million workers employed by the creative community. When people steal our products, it is these workers who suffer. Fewer jobs are created, and health and pension benefits are harmed. Strong protections for intellectual property, and passage of legislation halting content theft by rogue websites will help sustain the crafts that historically and consistently make such a valued contribution to America's economy.”


The U.S. copyright industries’ contribution to our national economy is measured by several indicators, including: the contribution of the copyright industries to the U.S. current dollar gross domestic product; revenues generated from foreign sales and exports; share of national employment; and the “compensation premium” earned by copyright industry employees.