The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is directly tied to 2.4 million U.S. jobs and leads to $80 billion in sales for the nation’s economy. There is still an underlying threat of Internet piracy that causes lower box office and DVD/Blu-ray sales, and the MPAA wants to make sure it tells the public about it.
An older but less used argument against piracy is because of increased job losses in the American sound and video crews, editing, electronics, and other industries needed in Hollywood.
I’d be willing to believe the Americans losing job argument if trade groups would provide accurate numbers related to piracy. Since it’s extremely difficult to calculate the actual impact of piracy, however, the numbers are often inflated.
Even the Government Accountability Office (GAO) chimed in and said industry-offered piracy figures likely weren’t accurate.
The MPAA may be worried about piracy and job losses, but still spends millions lobbying lawmakers in Washington. During Q2 2010, the MPAA spent $430,000 lobbying officials.
The MPAA, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and other copyright groups have attempted to fight peer-to-peer piracy completely wrong. Instead of looking for solutions and working with music listeners after Napster’s demise, the RIAA and MPAA instead went with lawsuits, lies, propaganda and mass confusion.
In an interesting new tactic, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department is now specializing in counterfeit and pirated goods, so some of that lobbying looks like it has paid off.
Piracy isn’t going to suddenly go away because ISPs have to crackdown, people are being sued, and ICE is targeting counterfeit goods. I believe copyright groups should spend more time focusing on promoting legal services and how they help benefit artists, copyright holders, and workers behind-the-scene.
The MPAA just won’t consider that perhaps their sales are declining because they are charging too much or because they need to produce better products.