Discovery Institute Defends PROTECT IP Act
Author:  Howard Gantman
Date:  07/20/2011

The Discovery Institute’s Technology & Democracy Project acknowledged the true economic cost of content theft and defended the approach taken by the PROTECT IP Act in a great article published yesterday by Senior Fellow Hance Haney.

Commenting on content theft’s drain on the U.S. economy, Haney said:

“The fake goods deprive U.S. intellectual property rights holders of billions of dollars per year, many believe. Since the income they would have earned will never be taxed, nor can it be used for investments in new capacity and to expand employment, their economic losses affect all of us.”

On the misdirected focus of Protect IP’s critics, Haney continued:

“So far, many commentators seem to be focusing not on the jobs this bill could create or save throughout the nation's economy, but on how it might impact an Internet culture that wants to believe Internet content ought to be free. Of course the Internet reduces transaction and distribution costs. The Internet places downward pressure on the prices for many products and services. But nothing is free. There are laws of economics just as there are laws of physics.”

Rebutting detractors of the bill, Haney reiterated what the bill would actually do and deflated allegations one-by-one, concluding:

“The PROTECT IP Act is not a nefarious piece of special interest legislation. The unanimous vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee last year reflects the fact that better enforcement of intellectual property rights is in the national interest, particularly during a period of high unemployment. Ultimately, the PROTECT IP Act is about protecting jobs and private investors.”

We agree, and hope to refocus the debate over PROTECT IP on the important economic issues at stake: American jobs, the future of creative investments, and the U.S. knowledge-based economy.