The "pandemic theft" of copyright-protected products, including movies, video games, sound recordings and software, has cost the US $58bn in annual economic output and 373,000 jobs, a study published today claims.
The Institute for Policy Innovation study aimed to shed light on the impact of copyright piracy on the national economy as a whole, and not just copyright producers and industries.
US workers lose $16.3bn in earnings annually because of global and US-based piracy of copyrighted material, including $7.2bn in earnings from workers in the copyright industry or "downstream" retail industries.
Some $9.1bn is lost to workers in other US industries, according to the report, and the US government loses at least $2.6bn in tax revenues annually as a direct result of piracy.
"As policy makers turn their attention to the competitiveness of the US economy in the global marketplace, it is clear that the problem of copyright piracy should be afforded a prominent place on the policy agenda," said Stephen E. Siwek, author of the report and principal at Economists Inc.
The threat of piracy is "devastating in magnitude", Siwek added, damaging intellectual property products which are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of economic growth and nearly 60 per cent of growth in US exports.
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