The US Government Accountability Office has written a report on piracy and counterfeiting, the agency concludes studies that piracy has an adverse affect on the US economy is bogus, and goes as far as to say that piracy may even have a beneficial effect on the economy.
First, the GAO report is one of the first attempts by the government to understand the size and scope of pirated and counterfeited goods in the digital age and determine how piracy's effects on the country can be measured. The investigative body concluded that it may be impossible.
"Most experts we spoke with and the literature we reviewed," the GAO said in the report, "observed that despite significant efforts, it is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the net effect of counterfeiting and piracy on the economy as a whole."
The report potentially undermines attempts by some copyright groups to tie illegal file sharing to the ailing U.S. economy. The film and television sectors in particular have aggressively tried to link some of the country's overall economic woes to piracy. The GAO said it had trouble finding those links.