The Computer and Communications Industry Assocation is a nonprofit organization with members including Google, Microsoft, RedHat, Sun, and the Linux Foundation. To boil it down: they’re a lobbying group for the computing industry. I’m not saying they are therefore bad: it’s the unfortunate state of Washington that everything and everyone has to have a lobbyist in order to get anything done. For the moment I consider this group to be one of the “ok” guys (I’m not sure I’ll call them the “good” guys yet).
So yesterday, they released a study that reports that fair use exceptions in US copyright law account for $4.5 trillion in revenue each year: 18% of US economic growth. I’m not sure what economic growth is referring to here exactly. It’s not GDP because GDP is $13.13 trillion per year, which would make that percentage about 34%. This $4.5 trillion compares to the $1.3 trillion estimated to be the value that copyright industries contribute [source]. The fair use exception value is growing at a fast rate too, 31% since 2002.
So if fair use is that much better for business, why not expand it? Would it only eat into that $1.3 trillion or would it expand the economy even further?