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Report: DVD Key to U.S. Economic Growth

22 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales and rentals of movie DVDs contributed to the copyright industries’ 43% of real growth (adjusted for inflation) in the United States economy in 2007.

Copyright industry revenue in 2007 grew to $1.52 trillion, or 11% of the GDP, according to a new report.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance, in its latest economic study, said U.S. copyright industries, which include movies, TV programs, DVD, home video, business software, books, music and sound recordings, employed 11.7 million people or 8.5% of the U.S. workforce in 2007.

Among that group were the so-called “core” copyright industries, which include Hollywood studios and packaged media distributors that employed 5.6 million people and generated $889 billion in revenue in 2007, or 6.4% of the GDP.

Foreign sales of U.S. copyright products generated nearly $126 billion in revenue in 2007, up more than 8% from $116 billion in 2006, according to the report.

IIPA spokesman Eric Smith said the report underscored the need for the federal government to enforce copyright law and deal with piracy, in addition to taking into account changing technologies and new infringement threats.

“Only through the legal and secure transmission of valuable content over the Internet can this continued growth and productivity be fully realized,” Smith said.

Dan Glickman, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said the IIPA study underscored the importance U.S. creative industries play in the economic recovery.

“That’s why it is so important that our government leaders continue to protect and promote intellectual property at home and around the world,” Glickman said.

Separately, the World Trade Organization reportedly found that China had broken international trade rules by mandating that all U.S. theatrical movie releases be distributed via one of two Chinese distributors — a requirement that does not apply to Chinese movies.

In January, the WTO ruled in favor of the United States regarding a 2007 complaint filed against China regarding its indifference toward rampant piracy of intellectual property, including movie DVDs.

WTO rulings typically are symbolic recommendations with little or no fiscal fines or jurisdictional action.

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