MPAA officially admits mistakes in piracy study

Hollywood laid much of the blame for illegal movie downloading on college students. Now, it says its math was wrong. In a 2005 study it commissioned, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that 44 percent of the industry’s domestic losses came from illegal downloading of movies by college students, who often have access to high-bandwidth networks on campus. The MPAA has used the study to pressure colleges to take tougher steps to prevent illegal file-sharing and to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives that would force them to do so. But now the MPAA, which represents the U.S. motion picture industry, has told education groups a “human error” in that survey caused it to get the number wrong. It now blames college students for about 15 percent of revenue loss.

The MPAA says that’s still significant, and justifies a major effort by colleges and universities to crack down on illegal file-sharing. But Mark Luker, vice president of campus IT group Educause, says it doesn’t account for the fact that more than 80 percent of college students live off campus and aren’t necessarily using college networks. He says 3 percent is a more reasonable estimate for the percentage of revenue that might be at stake on campus networks. The original report, by research firm LEK, claims the U.S. motion picture industry lost $6.1 billion to piracy worldwide, with most of the losses overseas. It identified the typical movie pirate as a male aged 16-24.
One message for MPAA: Go Fuck Yourselves. I’m wondering what random number will their piracy generator produce next time.

[Source: Associated Press]

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