Thursday, October 09, 2008

750,000 jobs and 250 billion dollars: Just where do these numbers come from?

If you pay any attention to the endless debates over intellectual property policy in the United States, you'll hear two numbers invoked over and over again, like the stuttering chorus of some Philip Glass opera: 750,000 and $200 to $250 billion. The first is the number of U.S. jobs supposedly lost to intellectual property theft; the second is the annual dollar cost of IP infringement to the U.S. economy. These statistics are brandished like a talisman each time Congress is asked to step up enforcement to protect the ever-beleaguered U.S. content industry. And both, as far as an extended investigation by Ars Technica has been able to determine, are utterly bogus.

It took some serious sleuthing by Julian Sanchez who kept looking for where these numbers come from.


  1. Animesh said...

    Some great discussion on this with insightful as well as witty comments are on this slashdot thread.