Copyright industries dominate economy

The Australian Copyright Council (ACC), a non-profit group copyright advocacy group, has published a Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC) report that shows the significant economic contributions made by copyright-dependent industries.

The report, Economic Contribution of Australian Copyright Industries 2002-2016, was commissioned by the ACC to find evidence supporting its lobbying efforts for maintaining current copyright law.

Findings include an estimated one million Australians, 8.6 percent of the workforce, are employed in copyright industries, making it the third largest sector in Australia. Around 7.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product comes from copyright industries.

The report looks at the broader copyright industries, but PwC makes a few observations relating to photographers.

According to the report:
– Photography is one of eight core copyright industries;
– Photography, along with Radio and Television, had a one percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in 2016, the lowest of the eight copyright industries. Visual and Graphic Arts, Advertising Services, and Motion Picture and Video aren’t far in front, with 1.4 percent. The fastest growing copyright industry is Software and Databases, at 4.2 percent;
– 21,040 people (!!) were employed as photographers in 2016, making Photography the second smallest core copyright industry, next to Visual and Graphic Arts at 18,136.

Nothing of much surprise here, besides perhaps the claim that there are 21,040 professional photographers in Australia! According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey, there’s 15,700 professional photographers, a number which will grow to an estimated 16,400 in 2022.

It’s the fifth PwC report commissioned by the ACC, which has been the chief organisation funding the fight against relaxing copyright law in Australia.

A Productivity Commission Inquiry into Intellectual Property has suggested the Federal Government relax copyright law, a position welcomed by the likes of content aggregators like Google, as well as the education and archive sector.

Among many Productivity Commission recommendations to the Federal Government, the most alarming is introducing a US-style ‘fair use’ exception to copyright infringement.

(If you’re unfamiliar with fair use, you just haven’t been reading enough ProCounter! Click here for background.)

The ACC provides no information as to how PwC was briefed. But it’s a safe bet that in these ‘evidence-based’ times, the consultancy firm was instructed to find data to supported the ACC’s arguments.

Click here to read the PwC report.


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