Background: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) admitted that the figures it had been using to track “piracy” on college campuses were triple the actual figure. The LEK study purports to calculate a $6.1 billion loss for the industry. See story here
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:
“It’s a shame that Hollywood discovered its error so late. For the last two years, the MPAA has blamed college students for 44 percent of the alleged “piracy” causing industry losses. Now it finds a data-entry error brings the real figure to about 15 percent. Because of this revelation, we should question MPAA’s entire study and the figures it had used to persuade legislators to write bills to crack down on what now seems to be a much smaller problem than the industry would have us believe.
“The MPAA’s study has been controversial from the time it was released. Its methodology was questioned and its conclusions were contradicted, even as the Association refused to make its data public for review and analysis. Members of Congress had asked for background on the study and MPAA refused to send their information to Capitol Hill. Perhaps the ‘data entry error’ MPAA cited would have been discovered earlier, before Hollywood spread the figure around in Congressional testimony, news stories and in other studies, had the Association been more open to discussion.
“If the fact that most college students live off-campus is factored in, then the actual college downloading drops to about three percent of alleged ‘piracy.’ That is a far cry from MPAA’s earlier battle cry.
“MPAA owes the educational community an apology. And it owes the public an apology for trying to make its case for filtering the Internet and other Draconian measures on the basis of faulty information, faulty business models and a failure to adapt to changing times.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.