If you were to listen to leaders of the copyright-focused industries, you’d think that they were on the verge of collapse. The rationale for the (temporarily-shelved) SOPA and PIPA was that Hollywood and the recording industry are being financially steamrolled by piracy. They routinely make claims of billions of dollars in losses, and they’re rarely questioned. We all know that piracy is rampant, and since piracy means free content, it must be hurting these industries… right?Not necessarily. New data uncovered by Techdirt shows that the copyright industries are doing booming business. Here are some of the most eye-popping figures:The value of the recording industry jumped from $132 billion in 2005 to $168 billion in 2010Recording artists’ share of music revenue jumped 16% to $16.7 billionWorldwide box office revenue grew from $25.5 billion in 2006 to $31.8 billion in 2010Book publishing revenues grew from $26.5 billion in 2008 to $28 billion in 2010Entertainment spending as a fraction of income rose by 15% from 2000 to 2008Employment in the entertainment industry rose 20% during the same periodThe overall entertainment industry grew by 66% from 1998 to 2010Worldwide video game industry rose from $20 billion in 2000 to nearly $80 billion in 2012We could go on, but you get the point. Despite one of the worst global recessions of the last century happening during the last four years, the entertainment industry is thriving. Of course we don’t point this out to spread resentment towards Hollywood and the recording industries. Good for them: keep flourishing. But their claims that piracy is damaging the industry appear to be massaged, possibly even unfounded.How do they get away with pitching this fiction? The assumption relies on analogies with the physical world that don’t apply to the digital world. If I steal a box of Twinkies from 7-Eleven, then that’s one less box of Twinkies that 7-Eleven can sell. They can chalk up a loss of $6. More for me equals less for 7-Eleven.In the digital realm, however, files can be reproduced in unlimited quantities. If I pirate a copy of Chuck Norris’s latest movie, then am I taking anything away from the copyright industries? For it to count as a loss of profit, you would have to know that I would have otherwise paid to see the movie.Even if my pirated copy of Delta Force II did replace a purchase, that still doesn’t guarantee that it’s a loss for the entertainment industry. For it to be a loss, you’d also have to know that the money I saved from pirating it wasn’t spent on another movie, song, or game that I wouldn’t have otherwise paid for. Many customers (consciously or not) set aside a certain portion of their incomes for entertainment. If they pirate three CDs here, they might buy a concert ticket there. If they pirate a couple of movies here, they might subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, and visit the local theater there.So not only are the copyright industry’s claims of billions of dollars in losses questionable, but the only solid data that we do have points to flourishing businesses. It reveals corporations that are doing booming business — despite a weak economy and an inherent resistance to innovation.SOPA and PIPA, in their original forms, have been shelved, but they will come back. They will probably have new names, and they will be framed slightly differently, but they will return in full force. Copyright industries will continue to use their billions to convince Washington just how badly they’re suffering.