20 March 2007

A Lot of Copyright Whatnot

A superb example of how cavalier proponents of intellectual monopolies can be with figures:

Leaving aside the rhetoric, what is particularly remarkable about these comments is the claim that Canadian copyright law is costing the economy between $10 to $30 billion per year. Obviously any estimate that varies by up to $20 billion is not particularly credible. Further, even the low end figure looks ridiculous as it is four times the losses claimed by the MPAA in China and is more than three times the total amount of cultural goods that Canada imports from the U.S. every year. Or considered another way, the $10 billion figure is more than the Finance Minister committed yesterday to new health care initiatives, the environment, education, and special services for armed forces veterans combined. And that is the low end - the $30 billion figure represents nearly 13 percent of total government revenues and nearly equals the total amount of provincial transfers and subsidies. All of this from "a lot of counterfeiting of movies and songs and whatnot?"

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