October 2008 Archives

Why You Should Always Ask For Proof

Ars Technica has a great little article on a oft-cited figure about job losses due to intellectual property theft at http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/dodgy-digits-behind-the-war-on-piracy.ars. What they discover is that the number has (so far) no basis in reality. They were able to find a reference to the job losses in a 1986 interview with the then Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Where he got his figures remains a mystery. Yet, this number of supposed job losses is being used to justify new laws strengthening intellectual property rights. There might be good reason for the proposed law, but the "job loss" isn't one of them.

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