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CCIA Report Touts Value of Fair Use

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has come with its own economic impact study promoting the value of fair use.

Copyright holders regularly issue reports on the value of intellectual property protection to the health of the economy and jobs, but computers companies Tuesday (April 27) released their second study on the value of fair use, which asserted that companies "benefiting from limitations on copyright holders' exclusive rights, such as 'fair use' - generated revenue of $4.7 trillion in 2007 - a 36% increase over 2002 revenue of $3.4 trillion."

The study also says that employment from "industries benefitting from fair use" increased from 16.9 million in 2002 to 17.5 million in 2007, which is the most recent year for which the study had figures. Those industries, said the study represented a payroll of $1.2 trillion abnd $281 billion in exports and productivity growth.

"We must therefore safeguard the fair use economy from the unintended consequences of overbroad copyright regulation in order to ensure that technology innovators can maximize their contribution to our nation's economic health," the report concludes.

CCIA members include Microsoft, Ebay, Google, Oracle, and T Mobile.

Not surprisingly, the Copyright Alliance, which is made up of TV and movie studios, unions and others, took issue with the study. "It is not helpful to policymakers or the public to pronounce sweeping arguments that defy logic," said Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross. "In its report, CCIA identifies broad industries, suggests some entities in those industries occasionally engage in what some might call fair use, and then lumps all revenues and jobs in those industries into a newly coined "fair use" industry. An automobile or truck is associated in some way with nearly every employer in the U.S., so by CCIA's logic, the U.S. auto industry should claim they provide 100 percent of U.S. jobs and GDP. Missing is a recognition that in every single case, fair use builds upon an existing, original copyrighted work. Without that creation, there is no fair use to practice."