If you’ve ever gotten into a conversation with me regarding politics, you probably know that I’m quite cautious when it comes to trusting the government to really work in the best interest of the people it represents. Today, however, I am happy to say that I’m quite impressed with the current administration’s approach to copyright and intellectual property protection.
This is because, on February 12, 2010, the Department of Justice announced a “New Intellectual Property Task Force as Part of Broad IP Enforcement Initiative.” (Read the press release)
As a firm supporter of intellectual property rights, this is great news – especially in our current economy. As it becomes more and more clear that the old economy based on the industrial revolution (read: factories) is dying, it’s becoming increasingly important for our citizens and government to understand that the biggest and most valuable export from the United States is not any physical product we create, but rather Intellectual Property.
According to a recent report from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), core copyright industries accounted for $889 billion (6.44% of GDP) between 2006-2007. Foreign sales and exports from core copyright industries were also higher than other industry sectors. As of 2007, foreign sales were about $126 billion. Expanding out from just the core copyright industries (theatrical films, TV, DVDs, business and entertainment software, books, music and sound recordings), the value of total copyright industries in 2007 was $1.52 trillion, or 11.05% of U.S. GDP.
“Americans produce more technologies, more brands, more creative works and more innovation than any other nation on Earth,” said Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the official DoJ release. “President Obama is committed to ensuring that the value created by American workers and enjoyed by communities around the world is protected. The Justice Department’s new task force will play a critical role in supporting the Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect American intellectual property and the millions of jobs that depend on it.”
The basic truth here is this: our economy depends on Intellectual Property. We’re a country filled wth brilliant and creative individuals, and this is where we are going to continue to grow. Without enforcement of Intellectual Property rights, we’re at risk of a much larger economic collapse than we’ve ever imagined – as we’d be destroying our own future.
“Theft of intellectual property does significant harm to our economy and endangers the health and safety of our citizens,” said Vice President Biden. “This administration is committed to stronger and stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights, and this new task force is a step in the right direction.”
I agree completely. Please take the time to think about this yourself, rather than just have a knee-jerk reaction about how much you might dislike “big content.”
The government is actually doing something to protect our future here, and that’s commendable.