Heard all the nonsense about how much music and video downloading is killing the creative industries? Here are some numbers for you. Proponents of IP protection claim illegal downloading costs the U.S. economy between $200 and $250 billion per year, and is responsible for the loss of 750,000 American jobs.

Enter the fine folks at Freakonomics – the guys who use economics and statistics to answer everything. They analysed the claims made by the RIAA and the MPAA. What did they find? The whole thing is a fabrication. As Mark Twain says, “Lies, Damned lies and Statistics”.

Here is another number for you. $12.3B. The number representing how much profit Hollywood made last year; Dont believe the hype about downloading killing the economy. The guilty pleasure you enjoy from downloading a Lady Gaga song doesn’t mean that you would buy the song instead of downloading it. But what would you do with that 99p instead? You would likely spend it on something else, ensuring that you keep someone else in work. Downloading doesn’t cost jobs. Making crap movies and films that no-one else wants to buy is what costs jobs. But at $12.3B of  profit, I would imagine that you are doing just fine without your little extremely profitable monopoly.