Wednesday 17 March 2010

Piracy to cost 1.2 million jobs, says new survey

The blog is grateful to the Pirate Party UK for spamming it with a press release and thereby drawing its attention to the report published today by a coalition of relevant trade unions and other industry bodies which believes that 1.2 million jobs are at risk from the impact of piracy.

The study was undertaken by an independent consultancy firm TERA, with the team led by an economics professor, Professor Patrice Geoffron of Paris-Dauphine University. The report weighs in at 68 pages and explains in detail how it derives the figures from which it calculates the loss of jobs.

While reluctant to grant more publicity to the Pirate Party, it is notable that their press release (no, there is no active link on this page - those who are interested enough can find the original) criticises the report's content for "containing dubious facts, inconsistencies and sloppy methodologies" while not appearing to notice that it is workers' representatives rather than "big business" that was the primary mover behind the report. Indeed PPUK's primary criticism appears to be the report's reliance on "lost sales" as the starting point for calculating piracy losses, although from a brief scan of the report, it appears that, for example, the authors recognise and build into their modelling the realisation that only a small proportion of "illegal" copies which are prevented would result in legitmate sales.

In these pre-election times and in the interests of balance, 1709 is inclined to say "other single issue extremist parties may be available in your constituency."

For the outcome of a recent Cambridge Union debate between (inter alia) this blogger and the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, who did proclaim at length about the blessed Statute of Anne after whose year this blog is named see here.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Absolutely, losing jobs is clearly the most important criteria when talking about this sort of issue.

It's just like the environment - imagine if we invented a renewable, cheap energy source like fusion. It would put all those miners out of business! It would be awful!

Or imagine if we could just duplicate steel in a machine, just as if it were information, so you could get loads of free steel easily just by copying it. All those steelworkers would lose their jobs!

Thankfully there's no chance of anything like that happening.