SOPA Preview

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

3 Responses to SOPA Preview

  1. Russ says:

    Julian Sanchez, a researcher at the Cato Institute, did his level best at tracking down the research behind the near-absurd numbers (the industry claims nearly $250B lost in revenues a year, and 750,000 lost jobs), but instead found only circular references.

    So then, you may be asking yourself: how much does piracy actually cost the entertainment industry? $89MM. What’s the U.S. Taxpayer cost to enact new legislation (SOPA)? $47MM, by Sanchez’s estimates. That’s 52.8 cents of U.S. Taxpayer money spent for every dollar in private enterprise saved, if the system works (which it won’t), when there already likely exists a private remedy (private action in the host country).

    From the GAO:

    “First, a number of industry, media, and government publications have cited an FBI estimate that U.S. businesses lose $200-$250 billion to counterfeiting on an annual basis. This estimate was contained in a 2002 FBI press release, but FBI officials told us that it has no record of source data or methodology for generating the estimate and that it cannot be corroborated.

    Second, a 2002 CBP press release contained an estimate that U.S. businesses and industries lose $200 billion a year in revenue and 750,000 jobs due to counterfeits of merchandise. However, a CBP official stated that these figures are of uncertain origin, have been discredited, and are no longer used by CBP. A March 2009 CBP internal memo was circulated to inform staff not to use the figures. However, another entity within DHS continues to use them.”

  2. Dena says:

    How about adding a rider to the bill that the entertainment industry must come up with 200 billion times 35% in taxes or 70 billion each year for the increased income they will receive from the additional income. If they don’t pay the taxes, their assets will be sold off to cover the unpaid taxes. I suspect they will change their mind about the bill or we will be rid of the entertainment industry as a source of liberal support.

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