Dearest International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA),

You know better than anyone that it’s no accident so many of the world’s artists come to live and work in America. 

Coupled with our strong commitment to freedom of expression (guaranteed by the First Amendment), America’s strong copyright system ensures that creatives of all stripes can earn a living. It serves as a beacon of hope for the dreams and aspirations of creative people, ensuring that creatives can earn back what they invest in their work, enforce their rights when people steal that work, and continue to get paid when others license and reproduce that work. 

Simply put, copyright is the fuel for innovation in this country, and CreativeFuture is proud to spend our days fighting for it.

You know our work is not easy. Copyright is under attack by Google and Facebook, who have poured massive resources into weakening its protections and teaching generations of users that creative works should be “free” in the online realm. Naturally, we’re constantly trying to convince these users otherwise.

That’s why we’re constantly looking for new ways to make our message fresh and compelling for the average consumer of films, television shows, books, video games, and other products created by the core copyright industries. And over the years, few resources have helped us more with this effort than the IIPA, and your Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy report.

When someone hears “copyright,” they should think, “That’s how creatives get paid to make the works I love!” But people don’t always draw that connection – if they did, our work would be much easier! But your compelling research, which was just updated and released in December, helps us to help people understand, by offering up fascinating data that quantifies what copyright means to the creative communities. Your invaluable service helps frame what we all do and its considerable impact on the American economy. 

You also give us an extremely powerful weapon in the battle to uphold copyright. For instance, we can attest to the fact that a lot of Americans earn their living in the core copyright industries because we’ve seen it firsthand. But our anecdotal evidence doesn’t help people outside our industry understand the full picture of creative employment in this country. That’s when we bust out some of our favorite hard-hitting IIPA statistics, such as: “The core copyright industries employed nearly 5.7 million workers in 2017; and, these workers were paid an average annual compensation of $98,336, which is 39% higher than the average U.S. annual wage; and, the core copyright products made by these millions of workers added $1.3 trillion to the GDP in 2017 – or 6.85% of the entire U.S. economy!”

All we can say is… damn! That’s impact!

Thanks to such revelatory information, we can quickly and concisely explain how many quality jobs our industry provides, how much it contributes to the financial health of our country, and why it’s worth protecting from the irresponsible internet platforms that show their disregard for it.

Painting a numerical picture in this way helps hammer home why piracy is so devastating. It helps us all understand how the widespread digital theft of copyrighted works cuts into a massive and vital engine of the American economy – one whose worldwide exports, according to your excellent document, “exceed foreign sales of other major U.S. industries,” including electronic equipment, appliances and components; agricultural products; chemicals; aerospace products and parts; and pharmaceuticals and medicines.

Well, that sums it up. And no one does it better than you, sweet IIPA, when your Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy. In your short and simple words: “Economic reports such as this one underscore what is at stake.”

We couldn’t agree more. Nothing can make our work easier, but you, IIPA, help make our work more effective. For that, we salute you, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.