Copyright industries claim 6.5% of GDP


WASHINGTON -- Companies that make and sell intellectual property continue to be one of the key forces driving the U.S. economy as movie, music, video game and computer software industries accounted for slightly more than 6.5% of the nation's gross domestic product and nearly 5.4 million jobs, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study by Stephen E. Siwek of Economists Inc. for the International Intellectual Property Alliance showed that the copyright industries remained a top contributor to the growth of the U.S. economy in 2005.

According to the study, the "core" copyright industries that include motion pictures, recorded sound, computer software and publishing account for nearly 13% of the growth experienced by the total economy.

"These statistics call upon our own government and governments throughout the world that also experience the rapid growth of their intellectual property sectors to redouble their efforts to nurture these industries through adoption of modern legislation that takes into account changes in technology and through vigorous enforcement," IIPA president Eric H. Smith said.

Much of the growth that has fueled the U.S. economy has come from foreign sources as about half of all the sales of U.S. copyrighted works now comes from abroad. That continued growth is threatened as such countries as China and Russia continue to ignore the legal sanctity of copyright.

"There are ominous signs from governments around the world where makers of copyrighted works are threatened and challenged," said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman, when the report was delivered to lawmakers in an event inside the U.S. Capitol.

While Glickman said most countries have tough copyright laws on their books they often take an "Alice in Wonderland view of copyright enforcement."