I don’t have much to say on Hollywood’s economic assertions about intellectual property piracy, other than to say that I’m sure it’s overstated, it will result in destructive legislation, and it will delay the industry’s entrance into the 21st Century of electronic distribution. In other words, it’s the typical nonsense from a dinosaur. However, this quote countering Hollywood’s nonsense is bogus:
It’s important to remember, however, that even though piracy prevents money from reaching the movie industry, those dollars probably stay in the economy, one intellectual property expert said.
“In other words, let’s say people are forgoing paying for $6 billion in movies by downloading or consuming illegal goods but end up spending that $6 billion on iPods, computers and HDTV sets on which to watch the movies, which leads to $25 billion in job creation in the computer/software/consumer electronics field,” Jason Shultz, staff lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in an e-mail.
The net economic effect of piracy is irrelevant to the intellectual property discussion. It does not matter that consumers spend their $350 on an iPod instead of movies. What matters is that $350 is not going to the company that created something of value to the consumer. There are many theories on how best to protect intellectual property and guarantee payment, most of them interesting. But the basic formulation of the problem does not include a community approach to evaluating economic spending. He who takes the risk should reap the reward.