MPAA doing well, still complaining about piracy

You know those threats from the FBI you watch every time you watch a movie (and which can’t be skipped)? The ones that completely ignore fair use–by definition an “unauthorized use of copyrighted material”. Well, in addition to those the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is constantly complaining about piracy to everyone from Congress to Comcast (see below). Here’s their front page today:

From page of Motion Picture Association of America's website, April fifteenth 2008

I like Lucky and Flo, the anti-piracy dogs.

With the exception of two ratings topics, everything on the front page is about piracy. From the way they’re carrying on, you would think that they are loosing money by the aircraft-carrier load. Not so. This year they posted record earnings (again):

The domestic box office continued to grow in 2007, reaching $9.63 billion after a 5.4% gain.

Domestic theater admissions held steady at 1.4 billion tickets in 2007.

In 2007, the average price of a movie ticket in the U.S. rose to $6.88, a 5% increase over 2006

So, not so much with the poverty and woe. And if you click on the link entitled “MPAA’s Dan Glickman Comments on Comcast and BitTorrent Agreement on Network Management” (which I wish I had not clicked on since it was a sneak-attack-pdf-download) you will find that they are doing something with Comcast and BitTorrent to combat piracy.

For non-total tech-policy wonks, this oblique press release refers to the packet-forging which the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s been tracking since September. Basically Comcast decided it could pick and choose which applications, protocols and forms of encryption it would transfer–without telling its customers. They have since backed off–which makes the MPAA’s continued pride over their “agreement” sound just as out of date as their business model.

All in all, let’s hope for collective licensing and pay for those weekly NetFlix.

Inspirational Quote:

“A human being should be able to
change a diaper,
plan an invasion,
butcher a hog,
conn a ship,
design a building,
write a sonnet,
balance accounts,
build a wall,
set a bone,
comfort the dying,
take orders,
give orders,
act alone,
solve equations,
analyze new problems,
pitch manure,
program a computer,
cook a tasty meal,
fight efficiently,
die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

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