Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4.7 trillion reasons for well-designed copyright

$4.7 trillion. According to a new study by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, that’s the amount of revenue generated in the U.S. by the “fair use economy” -- industries that rely on fair use and other limitations on copyright. They account for 1/6th of U.S. GDP, one out of eight jobs, and $281 billion in exports.

The Internet and information technologies are key drivers of the economy, but few realize that copyright law’s delicate balance is essential to this growth. Copyright law not only provides artists with certain protections, but also includes important limitations that promote innovation and legitimate re-use of information.

For example, without limits on copyright, search engines would not exist. Indexing the Web would be illegal, because that requires creating a copy of websites first.

The importance of well-designed copyright goes much further, though. iPods, Tivos, and any other digital media device that is capable of making copies depends on balanced copyright. The Internet’s very function is to make and disseminate copies of information -- it couldn’t exist without limitations in copyright. Congress laid the foundations for the Web in 1998, when it enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and created a set of “safe harbors” that protected online service providers who respond properly to copyright holders’ notifications of alleged infringement. Virtually all Web platforms -- from the smallest website hosting platforms and community bulletin boards to YouTube, Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, and everything in between -- depend on this legal framework.

CCIA’s study attempts to quantify the economic impact of these and other industries by using a methodology put out by the World Intellectual Property Organization. This methodology has also been used in several studies that analyze the economic contributions of content creators.

As more people and more devices access the Internet at even faster speeds, one can expect the “fair use economy” to be increasingly important. In fact, the “fair use economy” has been growing at a faster pace than the overall economy: from 2002 to 2007, it accounted for 23 percent of U.S. real economic growth. Maintaining balance in copyright law will be crucial to this continuing innovation and growth.


PsychoGraphic Media said...

Derek Slater,

If the DMCA is such an important legal framework, then why does YouTube continue to circumvent it with their ContentID system?

ContentID allows big media companies to profit from the creative works of video publishers who exercise their fair use rights by remixing and parodying preexisting content.

YouTube's ContentID system creates an environment where "fair use" of preexisting content may result in the automatic placement of advertisements on the new creative work. These advertisements create revenue for YouTube and the rights holder of the original content--not the rights holder of the new, repurposed content.

Basically, ContentID avoids the DMCA entirely, and it creates ad revenue that benefits YouTube and big media companies, while trampling the rights of the "fair use" artist.

Your employer has been turning its back on Fair Use for 3+ years. Until Google fixes the obvious flaws in ContentID, please refrain from publishing these meaningless, hypocritical blog posts.

Walk the walk or shut up.

Eshk said...

ContentID and the DMCA have almost nothing to do with each other, mate. Non-sequitir much?

ContentID is also not expected to be 100% accurate. If one feels that their rights were "trampled" by ads appearing on the same page as your parodies, I strongly suspect one may simply ask to get things corrected ...so then you can have ads on your YouTube page instead of having ads your YouTube page.

...and as much as I don't like it, last I checked remixes still weren't generally held to be fair use--only parodies.


PsychoGraphic Media said...


Apparently you're really anxious to prove a point and be right about something. This obviously isn't a topic you're qualified to speak about, but I do acknowledge your efforts and wish you luck in your quest to sound intelligent...mate.