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The UK IP Office has published the results of research which indicates that the copyright industries in this country add £3 billion to the national accounts. According to a press release sent out today: “The new estimates have been developed over the last year as part of the IPO's economic research programme to establish a more accurate picture of intellectual property in the UK. The study drew on new information provided by the publishing, music and film industries on their investment in copyrighted work, which generates long term revenues for the UK.”
Looking at the findings inUpdating the value of UK copyright investment I have to admit that I understand very little, if any, of what they say. Perhaps it is just me, but I am struggling to see what the figures referred to mean. Although £3 billion is a decent amount of money ($4.5 billion), it does not seem that huge a figure or one that is going to make any material difference to the UK – which in 2010, in the midst of economic gloom, had annual GDP of $2.26 trillion (around £1.4 trillion). In that light, adding “£3 billion to the national accounts” sounds like it is pretty irrelevant and largely technical – though perhaps economists and accountants will know better.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for this kind of study being done. I am just surprised that given that industries such as publishing, film and music tell us how important copyright is to them –and given we are told how important the creative industries are to the UK as a whole – we do not end up with a higher sum than £3 billion. I can’t help recalling the report on IP and the US economy produced by the USPTO back in April, which stated that American patent, copyright and trademark intensive industries are responsible for $5.06 trillion in value added or 34.8% of the country’s annual GDP, and that they also directly or indirectly employ 40 million people. Obviously, the UK economy is nowhere near as big as the American economy, while the USPTO report covered all IP and not just copyright; but even so …
As I say, it could well be that I have misunderstood something here. In fact, I can’t believe I haven’t. Maybe it’s just a case of the UK IPO putting across the information in a way that is intelligible to people like me. Anyway, if anyone could shed any light on all this, I would be extremely grateful.
IP politics, Copyright, IP business, IP valuation