Networking

MPAA says they made a mistake in college piracy estimates

According to a study by the MPAA, college students using P2P account for 44 percent of the industries losses. If you listen to Newsweek, that number is closer to 15 percent.

According to a study by the MPAA, college students using P2P account for 44 percent of the industries losses. If you listen to Newsweek, that number is closer to 15 percent.

From Newsweek:

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 44 percent figure was used to show that if college campuses could somehow solve this problem on this campus, then it would make a tremendous difference in the business of the motion picture industry," Luker said. The new figures prove "any solution on campus will have only a small impact on the industry itself."

There is currently legislation before the House of Representatives that would require campuses to implement measures to guard against illegal downloads.

From PC World:

The bill, if passed into law, would require college campuses to "develop a plan for offering alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property as well as a plan to explore technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity." Would this bill have been created if the original research data showed 15 percent rather than 44 percent? I'm doubtful that it would.

I don’t mind paying for what I have. I don’t use P2P unless I am downloading a Linux distribution. I think that piracy is wrong, but this sounds to me like the MPAA was crying wolf. Even worse is that new legislation is being considered to curb a problem, which is incidental at best, as a result of that wolf crying. How do you think piracy issues should be addressed?

Additional information:

Oops: MPAA admits college piracy numbers grossly inflated (ArsTechnica)

8 comments
Paul R.A.
Paul R.A.

The MPAA and RIAA have been using iffy stats for years, as far back as my masters when my capstone was on the RIAA and a software based royalty payment model direct to the artist one aspect my cohort uncovered with both groups was the "wolf" tendency of piracy. The draconian measures are implemented in the states because they can do it, while any piracy that occurs is not by download but by disc press and that is overseas in Malaysia and China. But of course they can not do anything there.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

Surely, an organization with such an impecable history of integrity must be believed. Right. I've said it before, the industry loses absolutely nothing due to P2P because the people who do share media files wouldn't buy the stuff anyway.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

discovered to be a set of self serving lying manipulative a**holes don't you? Only a compete idiot or someone on the payroll would credit any numbers they came out with. I bet they had someone slaving away for hours to 'justify' 15%.

eM DuBYaH
eM DuBYaH

Doctored numbers to get Congress to invent a law in their favor.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

What do they do? Nothing. They are mad that the gravy train is coming to an end, so now they have to blame their inability to keep up with technology on pirates...yet they never seem to go after the real pirates, just the soft targets like college kids and old ladies. If they were serious, they'd go after China, India, Russia, and the pirate cartels that abound in those countries. As for how piracy should be addressed: I look at it this way, the cat's out of the bag. We need to give people an incentive to buy the content. Apple has does it mostly right with iTunes and the reality is that people will buy if the price is right. Why? Downloading from a torrent is iffy at best and can be down right frustrating. The companies also need to make it easier to replace your content. If own Dark Side of the Moon in any other format than CD, I should be allowed to prove I own it and be able to get the MP3 version. Sure, I can rip LPs and tapes now, but the honest to god truth is, I don't want to spend $250 on something I'm only going to use a dozen times.

Tig2
Tig2

I don?t mind paying for what I have. I don?t use P2P unless I am downloading a Linux distribution. And I think that piracy is wrong. But this sounds to me like the MPAA was crying wolf. Even worse is that new legislation is being considered to curb a problem that is incidental at best as a result of that wolf crying. How do you think piracy issues should be addressed?

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Their 100-year-old business model for the recording and movie industries has been on life-support for about 10 years now. And it's been an open secret for even longer that the manufacturing costs of a CDs and DVDs is pennies, and yet they always charged far more for them than other media, such as VHS and cassettes. The availability of cheap CD burners was the beginning of the end, and the MP3 format combined with broadband was the death blow. Since the '90s, I've argued that the only salvation for the industry as it exists is to embrace cheap media; Sell CDs and DVDs for

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

but moaning and b1tching about it has not solved the problem either. The industry gets a 'tax' for blank cd/dvd's, correct? This is to help offset the piracy losses. Personally I know at my company alone, we go through thousands of cd's, cdrw's and dvd without anything but data being put on them. No music, no video's. It is like this at most companies, and many are very strict on content/downloads, etc.. Personally, it wouldnt bug me too much if the ISP's blocked servers which held and distributed illegal content, but it would need to be verified as illegal content. Other than that, I think it should be up to the network owner/operator to control blocking content. But in general, I think that the recording industrty should shut the F**k up already!

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