Monday, December 12, 2016

The Core Copyright Industries Continue to Boost the U.S. Economy

On December 6, 2016, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) published its 2016 report entitled “Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy.” The new report, authored by Stephen E. Siwek, finds that the “core copyright industries,” – that is, industries whose primary purpose is to create, produce, distribute or exhibit copyright materials – generated $1.2 trillion in economic activity in 2015, accounting for 6.88% of the U.S. economy. In the same year, the core copyright industries employed 5.5 million workers, which is 3.87% of the entire U.S. workforce.
At a time when much attention is focused on reviving America’s economic growth and job creation prospects, these figures should not be lightly dismissed.
The core copyright industries do not just comprise a substantial portion of the American economy; they continue to grow at an above average pace. Between 2012 and 2015, the core copyright industries grew at an aggregate annual rate of 4.81%. This is 127% greater than the growth rate (2.11%) for the entire U.S. economy over the same period. Furthermore, the average annual compensation paid to core copyright workers is $93,221, which is 38% higher than the average annual compensation paid to all U.S. workers, $67,715.
Additionally, the core copyright industries are a key contributor to U.S. exports. The new report finds that sales of selected U.S. copyright products in overseas markets amounted to $177 billion in 2015, a significant increase from $164 billion in 2014. This is impressive considering that other major industries, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medicines, agriculture, and electronics saw little or no growth in their respective exports over the same period. (See the chart below.)
Foreign Sales & Exports for Selected U.S. Industries (Billions of U.S. Dollars)
Selected Copyright Industries (Motion Pictures, TV, Video, Recorded Music, Newspapers, Books, periodicals, Software Publishing)
Aerospace Products and Parts
Agricultural Products
Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components
Pharmaceuticals & Medicines

In a December 2016 blog, Michael Horney discussed why it is important for President-elect Donald Trump to reconsider his apparently negative perception towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and similar trade agreements. By implementing strong Intellectual Property protections for 12 member countries, TPP would incentivize creation and innovation among American (and foreign) entrepreneurs. If TPP is adopted, the U.S. would see a significant increase in the amount the U.S. exports, including core copyright and IP-intensive industries.
The IIPA’s report shows that the core copyright industries play a large role in the U.S. economy and that these market segments are growing at a faster rate than most U.S. markets. The United States’ robust protection of intellectual property rights has incentivized creation and entrepreneurial activity that has not only benefitted American consumers and workers, but also has spurred economic activity overseas.
The core copyright industries continue to boost the U.S. economy!