Home > law > A Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Copyright’s Contribution to the Economy

A Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Copyright’s Contribution to the Economy

January 22, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

As noted on the Australian Copyright Council web site (http://www.copyright.org.au/policy-research/research/economy),

“On 26 November 2008, the Federal Attorney General, Hon Robert McClelland MP, launched the report Making the intangible tangible: the economic contribution of Australia’s copyright industries at Parliament House, Canberra.

The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, commissioned by the Australian Copyright Council, assesses the contribution to the economy of Australia’s copyright industries.”

You can get a copy of the report here, http://www.copyright.org.au/bcepv04.pdf. The report says,

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has identified four classes of copyright industries:

  • Core – industries that exist only because of copyright and are primarily involved in the creation, manufacture, production, broadcast and distribution of copyrighted works.”

The report repeats this concept again, “Core…These are industries that would not be in existence if not for the copyright subject or matter”. The report then lists some of these core industries,

pcw-copyright-report-coreind

I wouldn’t go so far as saying these industries (Motion picture and video production and distribution, Authors, writers, Magazines/periodicals, etc.) would not exist without copyright laws. Though they would not doubt be less profitable, but that is not my worry here. I am not commenting on these industries (film, music).

My concern is that this report claims that Newspapers, Libraries, Artists, would not exist were it not for copyright laws. I fail to see this. I’m not an economist, but don’t newspapers make money from selling the news. Its only valuable right when its breaking. Libraries would still be there to store information, people will still borrow books. Artists would still exist, I’m guessing most people make art for fun as a way to express yourself, not for the money. Picture framers; people will still take digital photos or produce art that they want framing, if anything the picture framing industry would go up if there were no copyright laws because anyone could take someone else’s image that they like and can manage to copy and print it/frame it without worrying about legal consequences.

I’m not saying we should abolish copyright laws, nor have I given this a full economic analysis, but think yourself, use some common sense. Do you really think these industries would be non-existent? But surly a multi-million dollar economic firm would know best, much better than just some kid like me who knows little about economics, wouldn’t they?

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Categories: law Tags: ,
  1. January 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I like your post, and that you’ve questioned the contents of the report. It’s thought provoking. I wonder how they feel about creative commons licensing? What about using an attribution model?

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