The Freakonomics dudes have called BS on Hollywood’s piracy claims. Adrianne Jeffries reports for BetaBeat:
Anti-piracy rhetoric holds that online piracy is a devastating force on the U.S. economy, responsible for the theft of between $200 billion and $250 billion per year and the loss of 750,000 good American jobs. “These numbers seem truly dire: a $250 billion per year loss would be almost $800 for every man, woman, and child in America. And 750,000 jobs – that’s twice the number of those employed in the entire motion picture industry in 2010,” write the economists over at Freakonomics.
But those numbers are wrong, the authors say, citing a breakdown by the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez.
In 2010, the Government Accountability Office released a report noting that these figures “cannot be substantiated or traced back to an underlying data source or methodology,” which is polite government-speak for “these figures were made up out of thin air.”
More recently, the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) placed the number at $58 billion; but that reporter is methodologically flawed, Mr. Sanchez and tech journalist Tim Lee have deconstructed, and is guilty of double-counting with results that “swell the estimate of piracy losses considerably.”…
[continues at BetaBeat]