National Studies on Assessing the Economic Contribution of the Copyright-Based Industries

Creative industries are today firmly established as a vital component of our lives, substantially contributing to economic, social and cultural development. Deeply rooted in copyright protection, these industries have demonstrated growing importance worldwide.

In fact, increasingly relevant in the global economy, creative industries have shown to yield substantial economic benefits. In addition to their contribution to cultural diversity and the enhancement of social values these industries are at the same time generating wealth, creating jobs and promoting trade. Notwithstanding their contribution in cultural, social and economic fields it is has been realized that the true value and full potential of the creative sector has often been underestimated and insufficiently analyzed. In 2003 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published a “Guide on Surveying the Economic Contribution of the Copyright-Based Industries”. The Guide summarize existing experiences in assessing the economic contribution of the copyright-based industries to national economies and offers guidelines to those studying the creative outputs in economic terms. While the main objective of the Guide is to produce a harmonized approach to economic surveys in this field, it goes further in providing governments, research institutions and civil society in general with a practical tool to evaluate the contribution of their copyright sector. In order to capture and understand the contribution and the far-reaching and positive effects of copyright-based industries to their economies, some countries, using the WIPO’s Guide, have undertaken the task of surveying their own copyright-based industries’ impact on their economies.

National Studies on Assessing the Economic Contribution of the Copyright-Based Industries The publication entitled “National Studies on Assessing the Economic Contribution of the Copyright-Based Industries” is now available. It is the first publication in the Creative Industries series and it presents the results of national studies on the contribution of the creative sector in Singapore, Canada, the United States of America, Latvia, and Hungary. The results in all five countries speak for themselves as they have shown consistently stronger growth of the copyright-based industries when compared with the average growth of economies in each country. In addition the copyright-based industries have shown continuous growth in employment numbers and increase in export trade.  These studies are highly valuable independently as they provide useful statistical information about each country’s copyright industries’ input to economy, also offer precious comparison opportunities.

 Indeed, by relying on the Guide to elaborate these studies, each country has managed to provide comparable data, thus enabling the reader to draw up some sound conclusions based on the experience of a geographically and economically diverse set of countries. Readers will find convincing evidence of the substantive contribution of copyright-based activities to economic growth. Countries from different continents are engaged in similar studies, which will be published in future publications in the Creative Industries series. The experience gained in this process will be used to adapt the recommendations to different country situations and provide additional practical advice to future research. The publication can be ordered from the WIPO electronic bookshop at