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Jamaica's copyright sector a $29b market - WIPO study places contribution at 4.8% of GDP
published: Thursday | March 20, 2008

Sabrina N. Gordon, Business Reporter

Dr Vanus James (left) and Dimiter Gantchev, head of Creative Industries Division, WIPO, are seen at the launch of the study on Jamaica's copyright industry, held at the offices of Jamaica Trade and Invest, Kingston, March 13. James was consultant on the study - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer.

Jamaica's copyright earnings have been valued at US$465 million, or $29 billion, under a new WIPO-sponsored study which estimates the sector's contribution to GDP at 4.8 per cent.

"The copyright sector contributions to the economy is as much as other sectors such as agriculture, thus the government needs to put as much money in this sector as it does for those other sectors," said Dr Vanus James, consultant for the study.

The first draft of the study undertaken by World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) was completed last August.

The Financial Gleaner understands, however, that its official release is pending revisions by the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office.

A guide for policymakers

Copyright and related industries are defined in the study as the protection of original expression used as the basis for investment, employment, and, ultimately, generation of income from sale of a product or service, or sale of the economic rights themselves.

The study offers empirical evidence of the sector's value and is meant as a guide for policy-makers and lawmakers.

"It was presented to Cabinet and was well received," said James.

The study took seven months to complete.

Researchers tapped data sources such as the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, but also firms and individuals within the industry, employing WIPO methodology.

"The study validates the copyright sector," said Olivia Grange, minister of information, culture, youth and sports, speaking at a forum on copyright last week.

"It will assist in discourse with the corporate and financial sector in terms of seeking funding."

In comparison to other sectors within the Jamaican economy, the study shows that the copyright sector contributes more than electricity and water, at 4.1 per cent, and almost as much as agriculture, forestry and fishing, 5.2 per cent, and real estate and Bbusiness services, also at 5.2 per cent.

Its contribution to GDP was

Copyright industries

Copyright industries are broken down into - four units:

Core copyright industries, which produce and distribute copyright materials. Examples include motion picture and video, software and databases, and press and literature.

Interdependent industries, which facilitate the creation, production or use of copyright works. These include television, radio, and musical instruments.

Partial copyright industries exist where only a portion of the activities within the industry is related to copyright and include items like furniture, footwear, toys and games.

The non-dedicated support industries take into account the spillover effects of the other industries.

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