Music Piracy Destroying Economy

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


ArrrrYou thought it was the subprime mortgage crisis behind recent global economic instability? Wrong! Remember that mp3 you downloaded the other day? That’s what did it. I hope you’re sorry. Yesterday, the Dallas, Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation released a study that says worldwide piracy of recorded music costs the US $12.5 billion and 71,060 jobs annually. The Institute came up with those numbers by combining jobs in sound recording and retail, as well as lost earnings and taxes, and then multiplying them by ten thousand, apparently. And yes, their Dallas headquarters should give you a clue as to their political leanings: the IPI was founded by Dick Armey, and was ranked as “super freaking conservative,” by a conservative research center. So these are the people angry at Bush for being too liberal.

No word on whether the study took into account all the glamorous blogging jobs that have actually been created by this whole downloading trend.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest