The damage of global intellectual property theft harms not only large content companies but individual creators as well, the Copyright Alliance pointed out today as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual report on worldwide intellectual property rights and enforcement.
"From the biggest multi-media company to the individual graphic artist working out of her home, global intellectual property theft is placing ever-increasing strain on an already stressed economy," said Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross.
"Enforcing the intellectual property rights of creators - large and small - on a global scale is daunting but is also critical for a strong and vibrant U.S. economy.
"Demand for America's copyrighted works drives the nation's economy, creates personally and financially rewarding jobs and contributes to the positive side of the trade books. But intellectual property theft on a global scale is threatening America's creators.
"For example, just this week I learned of a graphic artist whose works, as well as others' illustrations, had been scraped off of his web site and repackaged without permission by a Hong Kong publisher that is now charging $100 for the book."
Ross applauded USTR for shining a spotlight on the issue of global intellectual property rights with its annual report and pointed to two recent studies about copyright, piracy and the economy.
AT A GLANCE:
Global piracy costs the U.S. economy $58 billion annually, nearly 375,000 jobs, $16.3 billion in annual earnings and $2.6 billion in tax revenue. SOURCE: "The True Cost of Copyright Industry Piracy to the U.S. Economy"; Stephen E. Siwek, Economists Inc. for the Institute for Policy Innovation, October 2007
Strong IP means strong GDP There is a direct relationship between strong property rights - including intellectual property rights - and per capita GDP. SOURCE: "2008 International Property Rights Index"; Property Rights Alliance, February 2008
Both studies can be found at the Copyright Alliance web site at http://www.copyrightalliance.org/documentsandresearch.