CCIA Publishes Report on US ‘Fair Use’ Economy

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a C4C member and policy advocacy group representing a broad cross-section of the high-tech sector, announced the release of the latest edition of its “fair use economy” study in the U.S. – a short study of the the economic contributions of industries that rely on limitations to, and not the exclusive rights of, the copyright system, and in particular to “fair use”. It includes data from 2008 and 2009 (the last version, while released last year, included data up through 2007).

As with previous editions, the study uses a methodology put out by the World Intellectual Property Organization. This methodology has also been used in several studies by the International Intellectual Property Alliance that analyze the economic contributions of content creators. (The latest edition is set to come out later this month, we think)Some of the headlines are:

  • Fair use industries generated total revenue averaging $4.6 trillion, a 35 percent increase over 2002 revenue of $3.4 trillion. In percentage terms, the most significant growth over this seven year period occurred in internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals, electronic shopping and electronic auctions, and other financial investment activity.
  • Fair use-related industry value added in 2008 and 2009 averaged $2.4 trillion, approximately 17 percent of total U.S. current dollar GDP. Value added equals a firm’s total output minus its purchases of intermediate inputs and is the best measurement of an industry’s economic contribution to national GDP.
  • Fair use industries also grew at a faster pace than the overall economy. The core fair use industries, which accounted for 9.2 percent of the economy in 2002, accounted for 19.7 percent of U.S. real economic growth from 2002 to 2009.
  • About one out of every eight workers in the United States is employed in an industry that benefits from the protection afforded by fair use
  • Fair use industries bolster trade – Exports of goods and services related to fair use industries increased by 64 percent from $179 billion in 2002 to $294 billion in 2008 and then fell back to $266 billion in 2009.
  • Even during the economic crisis in 2008-2009, the fair use economy was a steady boat in the storm. If you compare this report with the one released last year based on 2007 data, you’ll note that the revenue and trade figures are very slightly down. No sector was totally immune from the recession, but by any measure the growth rate of fair use industries has outpaced overall economic growth.

CCIA also published a EU version of this report in 2010, which uses the same WIPO-provided methodology, but covers the EU countries and their limitations and exceptions here.