11/26/2013 08:14 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
That IP-intensive industries are drivers of innovation, growth and jobs shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Certainly it is something that the creative industry has been championing for a number of years. The study undertaken by the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office (EPO) that was presented at the end of September, strongly confirms this claim and actually shows the IP-intensive industries overall contribute 26% of employment and 39% of GDP in the EU. Within this, the core copyright-intensive industries generate 9.9 million jobs, contribute approximately EUR 230 billion and generate a trade surplus.
Yesterday, the OHIM released another important study, one which shows that European citizens view intellectual property and its social and economic contributions positively. This is certainly very encouraging, especially when one looks at the overwhelming majority with which Europeans believe that IP is important. This EU-wide study found that 86% agree that protecting IP contributes to improving the quality of products and services. And 69% of those questioned value IP because they believe it contributes to the creation of jobs and economic well-being. As a result, they condemn IP infringements.
But the study also clearly points to a gap between words and actions and shows that the EU faces a challenge in ensuring that its citizens understand what these values mean in practice when they enjoy films, TV shows and other creative works. And so as online content offers in the EU are booming and the movie industry continues to provide sustainable legal platforms and services for all Europeans, the challenge we now face is to educate citizens about what it takes to make a movie and that the impact of piracy is not just on companies and stars but also on the hundreds of people involved in the movie-making process. Whether we know them personally or not, they are citizens, neighbors, parents, and friends. We love what they make and should respect and reward their creativity and originality.