A new report by the Computer and Communications Industry Association suggests that allowing fair use of copyrighted material is better for the economy than locking down intellectual property.
Industries that benefit from the fair use of content, such as media firms, educational establishments and software developers, contributed $4.5 trillion to the US economy in 2006, a 31 per cent increase over 2002 revenues of $3.5tn.
By contrast, the copyright-controlled industry contributed just $1.3 trillion, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
"The US economy is increasingly knowledge-based and benefits from the dynamic diversity of industries that depend on fair use exceptions to copyright protection," the report stated.
"Through the growth of the internet and the related IT revolution, the US economy has benefited from the creation and rapid expansion of new industries, and a revival of productivity growth that supports higher living standards."
The report also found that one in eight US workers are employed by fair use industries and produce around $128,000 per head compared to the national average of $90,000 for industry in general.
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