Monday, November 10, 2008

Tim Lee on questionable copyright statistics

In a post titled Piracy Statistics and the Importance of Journalistic Skepticism, Timothy Lee begins:

If you've paid attention to copyright debates in recent years, you've probably seen advocates for more restrictive copyright laws claim that "counterfeiting and piracy" cost the US economy as much as $250 billion. When pressed, those who make these kinds of claims are inevitably vague about exactly where these figures come from. For example, I contacted Thomas Sydnor, the author of the paper I linked above, and he was able to point me to a 2002 press release from the FBI, which claims that "losses to counterfeiting are estimated at $200-250 billion a year in U.S. business losses."

Now, if someone can review the numbers proposed by Bessen and Meurer....


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