Brussels – Industries that rely on exceptions and limitations that balance copyright laws are growing 3 percent faster than the rest of the EU economy, according to a new study released by the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

The study by SEO Economic Research took a conservative approach in the first attempt to quantify the economic contribution of Internet-related businesses, news organizations and others that benefit from conventional intellectual property rights, while also depending on the exceptions.

The study found the value added from these industries amounts to Euro 1.1 trillion, or 9.3 percent of the EU’s GDP. Nearly 9 million people are employed in industries relying on exceptions or limitations, amounting to 4 percent of all EU employees. These employees earned Euro 307 billion in wages and salaries.

The study also found that between 2003 and 2007 industries relying on exceptions and limitations grew 3 percent faster than the EU economy, using numbers taken from Akker, I., et al. (2010).

These findings largely correspond to the conclusions made in the study ‘Fair use in the US economy’ released in April that measured the economic value of industries relying on fair use in the United States.

According to this study, these exceptions constitute are boosting economic growth with fair use-related industry value added amounting to 16.2 percent of the total current U.S. GDP. This stands in contrast with the EU where the exceptions-related industry contributions to GDP seem to be smaller. It is worthwhile to mention that the US study categorizes sectors that extensively depend on the Internet as ‘core industries’ highlighting that their economic activities depend in large measure on the concept of fair use.

The European study took a conservative approach, and was more challenging to quantify in part because of the unavailability of sufficient data and the reliance on data collection in the 27 Member States.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Executive Vice President Erika Mann:

“Having these initial numbers to help quantify the economic impact of copyright exceptions helps the EU make sound economic decisions as the knowledge-based economy grows.

“This study shows why balanced copyright policy is critical to the economy. The numbers indicate that both copyright protections as well as legitimate exceptions to that protection are necessary to spur innovation and the economic growth that stems from it.”

The complete study can be found here.

The study on the U.S. economy, “Fair Use in the U.S. Economy”, released April 27 in Washington, DC, can be found here.

 

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