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Content Groups Urge Feds To List Canada Among Major Foreign Piracy Supporters

Hollywood may have lost its effort to persuade Congress to toughen anti-piracy laws. But the MPAA and other trade groups for content producing companies believe that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative can do more: The International Intellectual Property Alliance just filed a report to the agency documenting what it says is “rampant online and physical piracy of copyrighted works and severe market access barriers” in 41 countries — and asked to have Canada and 9 other countries put on the government’s Priority Watch List. The designation is part of a process that could lead the government to determine that a country has violated certain trade agreements, Read More »

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Study: Copyright Industries Account For 6.4% Of GDP

I’m suspicious of reports that give a precise dollar figure for how much value an industry contributes to the economy — especially when the results help the industry to make a case for some legislation it wants passed. Numbers always sound so authoritative, even though economists often privately acknowledge that so many assumptions go into a measurement of an industry’s impact that the results can be little more than a collection of educated guesses. Still, it’s interesting to see the number that the International Intellectual Property Alliance came out with today showing how much of the economy comes from copyright industries — including film, TV, music, computer software, and publishing. They accounted for $931.8B, or 6.4%, of the gross domestic product in 2010, the group says based on findings from Stephen Siwek of Economists Incorporated, who relied on government data. If you throw in other industries that benefit from copyrighted work, then the economic value rises to $1.627T, or 11.1% of GDP. The core businesses also employed 5.1M U.S. workers, or 4.8% of the private sector, with wages averaging $78,128, 27% more than the U.S. average. The data show that we need “strong and modern copyright laws that take into account changes in technology and the continuing harm caused by copyright theft,” IIPA counsel Steven Metalitz says. Not surprisingly, several members of the alliance — including the MPAA and Recording Industry Association of America — support controversial bills in Congress that … Read More »

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Netflix Moving Into Piracy-Wracked Spain

By | Wednesday August 17, 2011 @ 3:00am PDT

Netflix is eyeing a January 2012 target date for its debut in a country in which illegal downloads outstrip movie ticket sales by 4-to-1. There was no announcement from the streaming and DVD rental giant, but Pedro Perez, president of the local producers association, confirmed that Netflix had contacted various Spanish producers ahead of its launch. Spain is on the International Intellectual Property Alliance’s Watchlist of offenders for piracy with 400 million illegal downloads per year, compared with 100 million tickets sold in the theaters. Several attempts by local producers and distributors to provide legal downloading sites in Spain have struggled so far. Among them, Apple’s iTunes store, which opened in Spain in November, has gotten off to a slow sales start.

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