Creativity in numbers

Last Monday was the Day of Intellectual Property. IP by itself is already a contentious issue. Nevertheless this was an occasion for some media managers magicians to get on their soapbox and perform tricks, mainly twisting numbers.

Here goes: Currently all of the European creative industries make €862 billion a year and employ 14.6 million people. When it comes to music, TV and movies, so the latest study concludes, piracy accounts for a potential loss of  €10 billion in revenue and 195,000 jobs per year. Well, that doesn’t scare me. Let’s not forget: This is for all of Europe, not one country.

The situation is far worse for other industries, isn’t it? But the real point is this: In 2004 there were about 6 million people working in creative industries all over Europe, generating a total of €654 billion. These are official EU figures, by the way. So even if there had been a constant piracy of media products, they still managed to have about €41 billion and 1.7 million jobs more per year — assuming there were a linear development.

It’s not the pirates that scare me. It’s the lobby tricksters that are always looking for the next con to pull off.

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