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Copyright’s Contributions to the U.S. Economy in 2017

Copyright’s Contributions to the U.S. Economy in 2017 by Chelsea Hack

December 11, 2018

Last Thursday, December 6, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) released its latest report, Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: the 2018 Report, detailing the economic impact of the core copyright industries in 2017. The report defines the “core copyright industries” as “those whose primary purpose is to create, produce, distribute, or exhibit copyright materials” (i.e. industries ranging from newspapers to movies). Overall, the report indicates that these industries add significant value to the U.S. GDP and outpace other industries in creating better-paying jobs and contributing to the U.S. foreign sales and exports.

According to the report, the 17th such report, the core copyright industries contributed more than 1.3 trillion dollars to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for almost 7% of the U.S. economy in 2017.  These industries also employed close to 5.7 million workers and compensated those workers an annual average of $98,336, which exceeded the average annual compensation paid to all U.S. workers by 39%.

Similarly, the report shows that the core copyright industries have experienced a substantial growth rate that significantly exceeded the growth rate of the entire U.S. economy from 2014-2017. The core copyright industries grew on average 5.23% a year, while the U.S. economy as a whole averaged 2.21% annually.

In addition to the core copyright industries, the report also details the economic impact made by what it calls the “total copyright industries.” These industries include the core copyright industries as well as industries that have an aspect or portion of their products qualify for copyright protection (e.g. jewelry, toy, or game industries), industries that distribute both copyright and non-copyright materials, and “interdependent industries” that create or sell equipment whose primary function is to facilitate the creation or use of copyrighted matter. According to the report, the total copyright industries added 2.2 trillion dollars to the U.S. economy (accounting for 11.59%) and employed over 11.6 million workers.

These statistics show how valuable copyright industries are to the U.S. economy and highlight the importance of protecting these industries through strong and effective copyright laws.

Check out the infographic for the 2018 report here.

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