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The Ridiculous History Of The Job And Dollar Loss Numbers Cited By IP Proponents

Discussion in 'Tech-Related News' started by RootbeaR, Oct 8, 2008.

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  1. RootbeaR

    RootbeaR Thread Starter

    Dec 8, 2006
    "Earlier this week, we talked about how the US Chamber of Commerce was citing the totally bogus stat that 750,000 jobs are lost in the US due to intellectual property violations. The original article tried to track down the source of the number and found a tangled web of government agencies all pointing at each other. Julian Sanchez has apparently been hot on the trail of the real source of that number, along with the equally bogus claim of $250 billion lost to IP infringement in the US. While it took plenty of digging, he seems to have found the origin of each number -- and they're both basically completely made up."

    "750,000 lost jobs? The dodgy digits behind the war on piracy"

    But enough theory and speculation; here is what we can say for certain: the two numbers that are invariably invoked whenever Congress considers the need for more stringent IP enforcement are, at best, highly dubious. They are phantoms. We have no good reason to think that either is remotely reliable.

    Perhaps more importantly, both numbers are seemingly decades old, gaining a patina of currency and credibility by virtue of having been laundered through a relay race of respectable sources, even as their origin recedes into the mists. That's especially significant, because these numbers are always invoked as proof that the piracy problem is still dire—that everything we've done to step up international enforcement of intellectual property laws has been in vain. But of course, if you simply recycle the same numbers from 15 and 20 years ago—remember that IACC's 2005 publications still cite that 1995 congressional testimony, from which it seems safe to infer that they have no more recent source—then it will necessarily seem as though no ground has been gained.

    Neither figure is terribly plausible on its face. As Wired noted earlier this week, 750,000 jobs is fully 8 percent of the current number of unemployed in the United States. And $250 billion is more than the combined 2005 gross domestic revenues of the movie, music, software, and video game industries."
  2. RootbeaR

    RootbeaR Thread Starter

    Dec 8, 2006
    I wonder how much revenue is lost to public libraries.

    Cost me $0.50 for my library card and I can get books, movies and CDs'.

    Costs me $45 for internet/month.
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