Study: U.S. Needs to Protect Creative Content

Music, movies are responsible for far more of the country’s economic gains than is widely believed.

Last Updated: July 21, 2009 @ 12:30 PM

A new study says that if America isn’t careful, the music industry’s piracy problems will hit the movie business.

 

Released today in Washington by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, which includes the major film, music and software associations, the study suggests that those industries are responsible for far more of the country’s economic gains than is widely believed — more than 25% of the U.S. economic growth.

 

At a Washington press conference, leaders of the association suggested that those results show the industries’ importance to the economy. They also said the report should push the U.S. government to heavily promote copyright enforcement at home and abroad.

 

“The U.S. creative industries are key to the growth and recovery of our ailing economy,” said Dan Glickman, chairman-CEO of the Motional Picture Association of America.

 

The industries also suggested continued piracy in some countries is affecting the ability to make and distribute “art.”

 

Jean M. Prewitt, president-CEO of Independent Film & Television Alliance, said that piracy is sapping distributors’ willingness to invest in movies, citing Spain and its rampant piracy as one example.

 

David Israelite, president-CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, and a former Justice Department official, called the report “a wake up call that we need to do more to protect industries that are so important to our economy” and warned about the “immeasurable loss of art that never occurs” because someone can’t get into the business.

 

While all the associations said the problems of piracy are continuing, Mitch Bainwol, chairman-CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said new ways to get songs may be lessening the music industry’s problems even as broadband is creating new problems for the film industry.

 

The reported growth cited in the report drew some questions from Public Knowledge, a consumer group, which has been questioning whether the music industry went too far in checking for piracy.

 

“Because the industries are doing so well, we believe their draconian public-policy agenda is unnecessary,” the group said in a statement. “Private-sector spying on everyone’s internet content through deep-packet inspection and kicking someone off of their Internet connection merely on the accusation of copyright violations, as the industry wants, are not needed.”