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Copyright Office Releases Report on the COVID-19 Impact on Copyright Related Industries

Issue No. 1042 - May 23, 2024

Today, the U.S. Copyright Office’s Office of the Chief Economist is releasing a report, The Resilience of Creativity: An Examination of the COVID-19 Impact on Copyright-Reliant Industries and Their Subsequent Recovery. The study examines the impact and subsequent recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of employment, revenues, and creative outputs in copyright-reliant industries. It uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census, and U.S. Copyright Office pertaining to eighteen industries that produce the types of works registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

“We are excited to be issuing this new economic report examining the impact of COVID-19 on copyright communities,” said Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs Maria Strong. “Since the arrival of Chief Economist Brent Lutes two years ago, we have hired two economists to build out our economic team, implementing a top strategic priority of Register Perlmutter and the Copyright Office. This team has a deep skillset in gathering, developing, and analyzing data, which has added a new dimension to our Office’s work.”

The report reveals:

  • As a whole, copyright-reliant industries experienced a substantial downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the effect was decidedly smaller than that on the broader U.S. economy.
  • Copyright-reliant industries, as a whole, recovered from the pandemic-induced downturn substantially quicker than the broader U.S. economy.
  • The pandemic impact on employees was substantially larger than the impact on copyright-reliant firm revenues(which is consistent with the experience of non-copyright reliant industries).
  • The pandemic effects were significantly varied among industries.

Speaking about the report, Chief Economist Brent Lutes said, “Our data reveal a number of interesting stories of creative activities through the pandemic. These provide insights that generalize beyond the specific context of COVID-19. One encouraging, although perhaps not surprising, theme that comes from this work is just how resilient many of the of the copyright-reliant industries really are.”