'Online piracy to cost 1.2 million jobs' claim criticised

EU's piracy argument flagged up
EU's piracy argument flagged up

A new report, 'Building a Digital Economy', which claims that web piracy will lead to the loss of 1.2 million jobs, has been rubbished by the UK Pirate Party.

While the report has the support of numerous MPs, Andrew Robinson, Pirate Party UK leader, says about the findings: "This is just the latest round in an industry-sponsored campaign of scaremongering that began with the infamous 'home taping is killing music' hyperbole in the 1970s and 80s."

"We are expected to believe that piracy damages paper pulp producers, accounting machine manufacturers and railway operators. Yet again, we are asked to swallow the lie that every download is a lost sale."

Focus more on investing

His remarks were made after the report found that retail losses caused by piracy will increase 560% by 2015, with the report stating: "Based on current projections and assuming no significant policy changes, the European Union's creative industries could expect to see cumulative retail revenue losses of as much as €240 billion by 2015, resulting in 1.2 million jobs lost by 2015."

Robinson dismisses this argument, explaining: "Most of the evidence available seems to indicate that more money is going into the creative industries than ever - those sectors and businesses that have embraced the internet and the distribution and marketing potential that it offers are flourishing and it is the other areas, if any, that are suffering.

"Perhaps organisations such as the BPI should focus more on investing their resources in new, progressive, and genuinely innovative business models and content rather than on advertising campaigns complaining how their outdated methods are failing."

Truly frightening

There are many who disagree with Robinson's remarks with Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC believing that "the growth of unauthorised downloading and streaming of copyrighted works was a major threat to the creative industries in terms of loss of employment and revenues. The scale of the problem is truly frightening now."

The report, commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce, is said to be the first major look at the impact of piracy in the EU.

Via TorrentFreak

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.