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Fair Use Industries Contribute $2.8 Trillion to U.S. Economy

The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) released an updated report on Fair Use in U.S. Economy: Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use. The report notes that fair use is vital to a number of industries and contributes significantly to the U.S. economy — $2.8 trillion to the GDP.

Examples of fair use industries include, for example, manufacturers of consumer devices that allow individual copying and recording (such as DVRs), educational institutions, software developers, and Internet search and web hosting providers. These industries have seen dramatic growth in the digital age and “grew at a faster pace than the overall economy.”

In addition to the significant value add to the GDP, fair use industries also employed 18 million workers by 2014, representing 1 in 8 US workers. Additionally, “from 2010 to 2014, the labor productivity of U.S. fair use industries increased by 3.2 percent annually to approximately $155,000 per worker.” Exports rose by 21 percent in that same period to $368 billion in 2014 and “[t]he fair use economy has become a defining aspect of the U.S. trade portfolio.”

In addition to surveying these quantifiable contributions to the U.S. economy, the report explains the importance of fair use to these industries. The full report can be accessed here.

Indeed, fair use is an essential limitation in copyright law, contributing to a variety of purposes including supporting the U.S. economy, education, learning, and the creation of new works. For more on fair use, check out these ARL infographics: