Public Knowledge Statement on MPAA Letter Regarding Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty
Public Knowledge Statement on MPAA Letter Regarding Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty
Public Knowledge Statement on MPAA Letter Regarding Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty

    Get Involved Today

    Background: The Motion Picture Association Association (MPAA) yesterday
    sent a letter to Capitol Hill asking for more transparency for
    deliberations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). A copy
    of the letter is here:

    The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and
    co-founder of Public Knowledge:

    “We are pleased to join MPAA in asking for more transparency in the
    deliberations over the anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). That
    request is long overdue. We hope the MPAA sends its message to the U.S.
    Trade Representative in addition to its letters to Congress.

    “However, we do not agree that the dispute over the backroom
    deliberations of this agreement are a ‘distraction.’ The
    disagreement about public involvement goes to the heart of an open and
    responsible government. Allowing a select few non-industry observers,
    including Public Knowledge, to view the contents of the ACTA proposal
    under strict non-disclosure terms is not a substitute for full public
    participation. An open and transparent government was one of the first
    promises made by the Obama Administration.

    “We also take issue with the assertion that opponents of the treaty
    are ‘indifferent’ or ‘actively hostile,’ to use
    MPAA’s terms, to improving worldwide copyright enforcement. Public
    Knowledge is not. We endorse a focus on commercial reproduction of DVDs
    and other hard goods, which is a more serious problem.

    “We do want to make certain, however, that the rights of Internet
    users are not trampled by overwhelming government power asserted at the
    behest of a single special interest. What PK objects to is imposing
    unreasonable burdens on civil liberties and innovation, particular where
    these have such limited impact. In particular, it is inappropriate to ask
    ISPs and application designers to do what the studios themselves have
    found impossible to do, manage security to prevent all illegal copying.

    “And while the MPAA may be correct in its statements about the
    economic impact of its industry, we also note that despite the constant
    threat of ‘piracy,’ the industry has reported that the number
    of motion pictures released in 2009 so far (and the figure is incomplete)
    is higher than last year, and that the number has grown in the past five
    years. Box office receipts, as well, continue on an ever-upward

    Note: Techdirt has a summary of motion pictures produced, here:

    Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at or 405-249-9435.