Piracy Law Based on Made-Up Facts

Julian Sanchez investigates the oft-repeated statistics that 750,000 American jobs are lost to intellectual property theft and that IP infringment costs the economy somewhere in excess of $200 billion.

It turns out that these numbers go back to quotes from 1986 and 1987 respectively. And, it seems, both numbers were simply top-of-the-head estimates with no statistical basis.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    Seems something of a trend, there.

  2. Michael says:

    If they can claim a single song download caused them $6,000 in damages, why would the origin of these numbers surprise you?

  3. JT says:

    Is it truly that shocking to see large corporations taking advantage of individuals? Governments consistently throw innocent people in jail, or send people to prison for minor violations. Justice and truth and unfortunately be purchased in this nation.