Leaders of copyright-intensive industries such as media and software production have recently expressed grave concerns that the ongoing proliferation of digital piracy poses an existential threat to their businesses. A recent survey of CEO compensation conducted by International IP in the Public Interest analysts paints a much different picture, however.
Researchers Jonathan Band and Jonathan Gerafi assembled a six-year snapshot of average CEO salaries in motion picture, publishing and software industries. These figures were then compared against corresponding payment in the non-copyright-intensive industries of construction, transportation and mining.
Between 2007 and 2012, average executive compensation among copyright-intensive firms grew by 45 percent. This translated to CEOs in these fields seeing an average of 2.8 times more money than their non-copyright-intensive counterparts each year. The largest such discrepancy emerged last year, as motion picture executives earned approximately $25.5 million more than the average CEO of a transportation firm.
The implicit irony of these statistics was not lost on the report authors. As Band and Gerafi noted, these skyrocketing salary figures come at a time when copyright-intensive industry heads are suggesting that the scourge of piracy could soon prompt employee layoffs.