WIPO and OAS Release Report on the Economic Contribution of the Copyright Industries

Posted in News on January 26, 2012

BMI Supports the Value of Music in Global Joint Statement


The vibrant music of the Western Hemisphere is widely recognized as one of the great contributions of our peoples to global society. Yet our ability to continue creating and offering this magnificent music is under threat today like never before. The collective output of our songwriters, performers, musicians, publishers, technicians and producers is being stolen on a massive scale that, unless adequately addressed, could fundamentally undermine our hemispheric cultural treasure. This is not an issue of one or just a few of our countries—it affects us all.

The victims of this theft include the artists and songwriters whose creativity gets no reward; governments that lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues; economies that are deprived of new investments; consumers who get less diversity and less choice; and record producers and publishers who, due to rampant theft, have less money to invest in the development of new talent.

The greatest victim of piracy is local culture. It has had a devastating impact on performers, musicians and songwriters throughout the hemisphere. Local repertoire accounts for nearly 70 percent of the global music market. Unless there are rational economic reasons to invest in original creative production, such investment will dry up, and along with it will perish the fantastic diversity of music that has been our region’s legacy.

For these reasons we call upon policy makers to use this report on the contribution of the creative industries as a catalyst for the adoption of new measures so that we can turn the tide on the destructive forces of music theft. Governments and the private sector have an unparalleled opportunity to address current problems affecting economic development, cultural output and diversity through the implementation of strong and unambiguous measures to fight piracy, and to pave the way for e-commerce in cultural materials to prosper by creating standards that will ensure the protection of cultural materials in the online environment.

BMI joined major music industry businesses and organizations around the globe in this joint statement and in advocating the use of this report to support the value of the music our songwriters create. The report will be presented on Thursday, January 26 in the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. A full copy of the study is available for download as a PDF.

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