New Report Highlights Economic Impacts of IP and Copyright

Michi Iljazi

December 22, 2016

The importance of protecting Intellectual Property (IP) is undeniable.  Now, a December 6 report from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) titled, Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 2016 Report, confirms the economic impact.  According to the report, copyright industries are responsible for adding $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy as well as employing 5.5 million workers in America.  These numbers (and others from the report) show indisputable proof that Congress must act to modernize the Copyright Office to foster even more growth in the copyright industry.

It should come as no surprise that copyright has such a strong economic impact.  The Department of Commerce released a report in October that detailed the importance of all IP to the economy. That report, titled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update,” showed that 45 million jobs are directly or indirectly tied to IP, and that IP-intensive industries accounted for $6.6 trillion in GDP value. 

If Congress is serious about protecting IP, they must address the status of the U.S. Copyright Office that administers the U.S. copyright system and serves the more than $1.1 trillion market for copyrighted works.

Congress may finally be taking notice and be ready for action. Earlier this month, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released his principles for reforming the Copyright Office. The outline included encouraging components focused on how the agency is structured, the need for IT updates and digital preservation, and how changes could be made to achieve greater public access.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) applauds the work of Chairman Goodlatte to highlight this issue for action in 2017, but there is a great deal of work that must be done in order to make modernization a reality. 

As the new Congress begins work in 2017 and a new administration is sworn in, this will be a great opportunity to advance IP and copyright. Key figures will be getting replaced at agencies that impact IP, including the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office and Office of the United States Trade Representative. It is important for all of those agencies to do more next year to promote IP rights and advance copyright. 

IIPA’s report on copyright and the initial work put forward from Chairman Goodlatte provide an ideal transition for IP, from the progress this year to a positive direction next year. TPA will work with Congress and the agencies that impact IP with the goal of furthering IP rights at home and abroad, which will in turn encourage innovation and economic growth.