The Media

They Took Our Jobs

The corporate media empire would have you believe that draconian anti-piracy laws like SOPA and Protect-IP are needed to prevent job losses and protect their hard-earned profits.

While those are noble goals, there's just one problem -- the media industry is doing just fine. Better than ever, actually. And their record earnings haven't lead to dramatic job creation.

Although a recent National Crime Prevention Council ad campaign tries to make the point that piracy kills jobs, the CRS [Congressional Research Service] found that total gross revenues and box office receipts have doubled in the last 15 years. Grosses went from $52.8 billion in 1995 to $104.4 billion in 2009, while box office receipts went from $5.3 billion in 1995 to $10.6 billion in 2010 — yet hiring still went down.

One thing that has gone up, higher than ever, is executive pay. The CRS report noted that News Corporation paid CEO Rupert Murdoch $33,292,753 in 2011; Viacom gave CEO Philippe Dauman made $84,515,308; Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes took home $26,303,071; while Disney CEO Robert A. Lger earned $29,617,964. Sony CEO Howard Stringer was at the bottom of the bunch at $4.3 million, having taken a 14 percent pay cut due to losses. [...]

The CRS report further shows that employment by film studios and related service companies has remained relatively stable since 1998. Though there have been spikes and slumps in hiring over the years, about 374,000 people worked full or part time making movies last year, down from 392,000 in 1998. That’s on the upswing from a low in 2009, when employment dipped just below 370,000.

The ultimate goal of any executive is to maximize profits, but given that the corporate media is already doing so well, it's hard to believe there aren't other motives for a clamp-down on free-speech and fair-use policy.

How long before the strictly non-partisan Congressional Research Service is accused of socialist heresy?