Remember how we were just talking about Senator Chris Coons, and the fact that maybe (just maybe) he was realizing that pushing for ridiculously over-aggressive “anti-piracy” laws without understanding the details was a bad idea? Yeah, apparently that lesson didn’t sink in very well. On Wednesday, Coons appeared at an event put on by the US Chamber of Commerce (the main lobbyists pushing for PIPA and SOPA), in which he called for new SOPA/PIPA-like laws and cheered on some ridiculously bogus “new research” from the US CoC claiming that “IP Creates Jobs for America.”
The “research” uses the same bogus and debunked methodology that the US Chamber’s “Global IP Center” has been championing for a while. First, you define what industries are considered “IP-intensive.” You make this as broad as possible, so you include (for example) the tech industry (they get patents!), even though they’re among the ones fighting to stop SOPA/PIPA-like laws, and also fighting to reform patent laws that have restricted innovation. Great. Then you list out all the jobs in those industries. And then you falsely claim that those are jobs that were “created by IP laws.”
Except almost none of that is accurate. But it is a neat (though shameless) political scam to count those who are opposed to these kinds of laws and pretend they’re in favor of them. Shame on Coons for falling for such blatant propaganda. Perhaps he should talk to his son, who explained to him why the bills he supported earlier this year would cause significant problems for the internet.
Meanwhile, as a part of this program, it appears that they’re releasing totally misleading and laughable state-by-state profiles of how many “jobs” were “created” by IP. Here’s California’s (warning: pdf). It claims that IP supports 55% of the jobs in California’s private sector — and certainly suggests that those jobs wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have stronger IP laws (what with the big banner right above it declaring “IP Creates Jobs for California.”
Yet the data shows no such thing. At no point do they even try to show a causal relationship between more draconian IP laws and more jobs. Because they know they can’t. Instead, they use this bogus lumping together of any job that sorta kinda touches on IP laws and the massively ludicrous suggestion that those jobs only exist because of IP. I can understand why the Chamber of Commerce is promoting such a laughable study — but it’s a shame that a politician who claims to know better would fall for it.