-- CNET’s Greg Sandoval has a time-saving recap of a lengthy report on the economic effects of counterfeited and pirated goods by the non-partisan General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In its research, the GAO attempted to understand the scope of piracy’s impact on the U.S. economy. Here is the 41-page report’s most important sentence: “Most experts we spoke with and the literature we reviewed 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.” Of course, that won’t stop trade groups from putting a number on such a hard-to-quantify thing has damages from piracy. Right or wrong, such figures are repeated and quoted by politicians, reporters and analysts. As a result, they achieve the goal of shaping public discourse. (CNET)

-- The Copyright Alliance blog has some different angles on the GAO’s report. “[A] reader of the study cannot escape the fact that infringement significantly decreases the incentive copyright gives to creators to produce those works we find of such value,” wrote Patrick Ross. One interesting part of the report Ross highlighted was the GAO’s mention that sampling through pirated goods “may lead to increased sales of legitimate goods.” However, the GAO admitted there is no reliable data to back up the theory of sampling’s net benefit. (Copyright Alliance)

-- Sirius XM is touting big subscriber gains ahead of the release of its Q1 earnings release next month. The company says it netted 171,000 subscribers last quarter compared to a 404,000 net decline a year ago. The company ended Q1 with about 18.9 million subscribers, up 345,000 from the same period last year. (Press release)

-- Music attorney Chris Castle reviews Britain’s Digital Economy Bill. He believes it “takes a number of encouraging steps toward establishing market rules for the digital society” and notes the bill “has a good deal of incentive built in for copyright owners to find licensing solutions.” One thing the US Congress lacks is an understanding of the number of DMCA takedown notices being filed in any given period. But the Digital Economy Bill requires the Office of Communications to report to the Secretary of State on the volume of infringement reports. (Music - Technology - Policy)

-- Fontana Distribution has crafted a partnership with Royalty Review Council. The Los Angeles-based company will become the preferred provider of record and mechanical royalty accounting to Fontana’s distributed labels. (Press release)
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