Careless Piracy costs jobs

We’ve all become accustomed to the incessant whining from the music industry and Hollywood that piracy is killing them, but now apparently, there’s proof that your illegal download habit is adding workers to the already long unemployment lines.

Indeed, research conducted by Paris-based consultancy outfit, TERA, for the International Chamber of Commerce reckons 1.2 million people in the EU alone could be handed pink slips by 2015, as a direct result of Internet piracy.

According to TERA, Europe’s music, film, television and software industries, which collectively employ some 14.4 million people, managed to pull in 860 billion euros ($1.186 trillion) in 2008, but that’s a whopping 10 billion euros short of what it should have been, because of download bandits.

“Where’s the harm?” one might argue.

After all, these huge multinationals have plenty of cash to throw around. Well, maybe they do, but when the profit margins start hurting, the belts start tightening, and not for the execs at the top of the ladder. TERA says 186,000 jobs were drowned by the pirates alone in 2008.

It’s not looking that there’s much dry land ahoy, either, with piracy on the up and up. TERA pessimistically predicts this will deplete European commerce’s buried treasure by as much as 240 billion euros in five years.