Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Copyright Piracy Value v. Prescription Drug Spending

Here's a comparison that is really interesting.

The US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, says that CDN IP piracy may be costing the Canadian economy up to $30 Billion a year. (Let's modestly assume that's CDN dollars). On March 1, 2007, he told the Empire Club:

And we are working with the Canadian government now on that issue. We have met with Ministers Bernier and Oda and members of the Prime Minister's staff and we are requesting a stronger copyright bill be introduced and be passed. We are joined by the U.S. and Canadian motion picture and sound recording and computer software industries. Right now the copyright laws or the intellectual property right protection in Canada is considered the weakest of the G-7 countries. So we are asking that be strengthened. And it really does cost the Canadian economy a huge amount every year. It is estimated to be from some $10 to $30 billion per year.
Yesterday, the CBC reported that Canadians spend about $21 billion a year on prescription drugs. This is the third highest per capita spending in the world, trailing only the USA and France. The CBC's figures come from the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the OECD.

So - either Canadians engage in IP piracy that could be worth almost 50% more than their prescription drug expenditures - or the Ambassador's numbers are way off. Perhaps by several degrees of magnitude?


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