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The Ridiculous History Of The Job And Dollar Loss Numbers Cited By IP Proponents

The industries throwing hissy-fits about intellectual property (software industry and record industry, mainly) have managed to get multiple laws passed in their favor. When they’re out fighting their favorite fight, one number brandished about quite often is that IP theft costs 750,000 jobs. This number is apparently gospel not only to these industries, but now to various government agencies as well. Where did this number come from? Ars Technica did some research on this magical number.

The 750,000 job number actually dates back to 1986, when then-Commerce Secretary Malcom Baldridge, in promoting a stronger copyright bill from the Reagan era