MPAA Math: 40% Plus 70% Equals?

from the let's-help-them-out dept

Ah, the MPAA and its ability to simply make up numbers continues. Last week, we noted that the MPAA was claiming that New York City was where 40% of camcorded movies came from, following earlier claims that 50% came from Canada. However, now that NYC has passed a law with tougher crimes for camcording (note this last passed just last week), apparently, the MPAA can now shift its numerical focus to Canada. Michael Geist points out that along with Warner Brothers' pointless decision to stop promo screenings in Canada, the studio is claiming that 70% of camcorded movies now come from Canada. 70%? Considering they were unwilling to back up earlier reports claiming 30%, 40% and 50% don't expect them to explain the 70% number either. However, we are wondering how the movie industry adds up the 70% coming from Canada with the 40% coming from New York City (not to mention all the camcorded movies from elsewhere) and still come up with 100%. Is there a reason that reporters never bother to ask the MPAA and its studio members to actually back up any of this stuff?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    duh, May 10th, 2007 @ 1:24am

    Obviously -10% of them come from the rest of the world.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Redmond, May 10th, 2007 @ 1:37am

    Re:

    guess we know where this guy works,

    last I checked 40+70 was 110, but that was a while ago,


    MPAA, use scare tactics and are always on the attack, which TBH is never going to work. Its a new distribution model and creating different ways of generating income from product that is needed as piarcy is not going to cease regardless of how many laws they lobby to have changed

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 2:21am

    Are these numbers from the same source, or just the 'movie industry'?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Dav, May 10th, 2007 @ 2:36am

    99.9824% of statistics are made up on the spot

    This phrase ring a bell? (read title of post)

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Maciej, May 10th, 2007 @ 2:46am

    The tougher laws has an instant effect. 3/4 of the New Yorkers moved to Canada for safe haven ;)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    J, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:19am

    In my experience

    Now I don't make a habit of downloading movies off the internet, due to the usually unwatchable quality, but I'll admit that I've done it a couple of times. It seems to me that, of the movies I've downloaded, most had subtitles in either German or some oriental language. If I had to guess I'd say Korean but I don't speak any languages that don't use this alphabet so I can't be sure. Maybe all the movies I've downloaded just happened to come from came from the...-10% (or whatever percentage you have left over from those stats) but I find that hard to believe.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Rob Hyndman, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:36am

    Reason

    "reason"? Hmmm. Studios advertise in newspapers, right? A lot, right? Hmmm ...

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Happy Downloader, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:41am

    I love downloading movies

    I never downloaded any movies until about 6 months ago, after reading yet another story about the jackasses at MPAA and their tactics. I don't mind paying for DVDs, but I'll never do it again as long until these greedy get their act together. I live in China at the moment, and DVDs (originals, NOT pirated ones, although they are plentiful) run about 2 bucks. That includes American releases. Even with the pirating, the MPAA dickheads are stil making plenty to cover their blow and hookers. By the way, you can find subtitles for just about any movie, and many TV programs, at several websites dedicated just for that purpose. So, don't let that discourage you from trying again.

     

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  9.  
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    Bobshaker, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:54am

    Every time the industry comes up with some such absurd idea/policy/whatever...I just can't help but wonder if its anything but an institution for the mentally unstable. I would've gone with 'they have monkeys making their decisions' line but that would be quite insulting...to the monkeys, of course.

     

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  10.  
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    GoblinJuice, May 10th, 2007 @ 4:05am

    Ha!

    The MPAA's bad at math, eh? May help to explain why most of the mainstream, blockbuster movies costs millions and millions to make!

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    Spiderman 3

    I'll openly admit I make heavy use of news groups, made the switch from torrents about 6 months ago and haven't looked back since.

    I went to see Spidey 3 with the Mrs on the weekend, here's what it cost me:

    £9.20 ticket x 2
    £4.00 travel x 2
    £10.00 cinema snacks

    Now that's a grand total £32.40 ($64.44 for those from the US) for two people to watch what was a piss poor film in my opinion.

    Not only was it a crap film, certainly not worth the 32 quid, but the seating left me with a backache there were loads of idiots using mobile phones in the cinema and I had to queue to buy tickets, queue to get into the cinema, queue to get out of the cinema, blah blah blah...

    From now on I'll stick to my policy of downloading and watching from home and spend my money elsewhere.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    BONQU, May 10th, 2007 @ 5:23am

    They must be using that NEW math i keep hearing about. kinda goes along the lines of fuzzy logic, because they dont have any.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, May 10th, 2007 @ 5:26am

    Mike: Those numbers have changed, again.

    Michael Geist - The Globe on Camcording

    I think we need a scorecard to keep track of these ever changing percentages.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Sorce, May 10th, 2007 @ 5:26am

    I don't thinik it's the same source

    From what I got their numbers come from different articles. It looks like they are saying that it used to be 50% from Canada and 40% from NY. Then they passed stricter laws which has led to 70% coming from Canada.

    I dislike the *AA as much as the next guy and have no doubt their numbers are bogus but this is kind of reaching for something to make fun of.

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Daniel (profile), May 10th, 2007 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    Quantum maths?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Edward I Nigma, May 10th, 2007 @ 5:34am

    Weather

    Weather reports are 70% correct only 60% of the time.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, May 10th, 2007 @ 5:47am

    40% Iron Chef

    Since all their numbers are pretend, maybe they're pretending that it only took a week for NY to stop bootlegging movies.

    I don't see how they could be that bad at math. They must spend all day practicing by counting their money and adding up how much money was lost to downloaders. On second thought maybe they are bad at math.

    To explain the subject, in Futurama, Bender is made of 40% iron, 40% titanium, and 40% dolomite.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 6:36am

    It's all true. I've been camcording movies in Canada, upgrading them to DVD-quality, adding dubbing/Chinese captions, and then sending them to China for mass manufacturing, and then I ... uh ... throw 10% of them into a black hole.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Math Wiz, May 10th, 2007 @ 6:37am

    Wow

    4 out of 3 MPAA employees understand fractions and percentiges.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 6:46am

    :)

    70% of the time it's Canada everytime?

    (Apologies for the bad Anchorman reference)

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    carl johnson, May 10th, 2007 @ 7:05am

    In order to work at the MPAA, prospective employees are asked "what is the sum of 1 = 1?" The correct answer, of course, is "whatever you want it to be!"

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    KB, May 10th, 2007 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    "Obviously - 10% of them come from rest of the world"

    Goddamn boy - did your mother eat paint chips when you were in utero?

     

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  23.  
    icon
    chris (profile), May 10th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    it's called beer math

    i could have sworn i explained beer math here before.

    beer math is a military invention to get the results you want from numbers that are not favorable to your situation.

    the typical Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) ration of beer for troops on extended missions in the field is two cans per MWR event. someone somewhere decided that is the optimal dosage for an american kid to relax and unwind without causing trouble... you think drinking and driving is bad you should try compunding that with live ammunition.

    so, if your platoon is 60 grunts, then you need to requisition beer as so:

    60 troops * 2 beers each / 12 beers per case == 65 cases of beer.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 8:54am

    thats like the best math ever

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Chocho, May 10th, 2007 @ 9:03am

    70% Canadian = 55% US

    I think you are forgetting to account for the exchange rate...I believe that 120% Canadian is roughly equal to 100% in US percentage, so that breaks down to 55% from Canada, and 40% from New York, leaving 5% for the rest of the World, thus making their Mathematics even more genius.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    TheDock22, May 10th, 2007 @ 9:09am

    Silly

    The MPAA is really on a roll lately turning people against them. These fake numbers get funnier every week.

    I am curious though, I wish an independent company would come out already with the REAL numbers, including how many movies are actually downloaded, but not eventually bought by the downloader. Also, how many of these downloaded movies are got by camcorder and how many are just copied by insiders...I would be the insiders have it.

    And finally...I bet Asia distributes more movies than Canada for crying out loud. Unless the cunning Canadians add the oriental subtitles to throw everyone off their track.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    acruxksa, May 10th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    The Math is simple

    The MPAA is going to squeeze %110 of their legal fees out of %100 of us.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Wolfger, May 10th, 2007 @ 11:45am

    Why reporters never question:

    It's simple, really. That would mean doing actual *work*, instead of just handing the press release to the layout department and calling it a day...

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, May 10th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    Re: I don't thinik it's the same source

    Kind of reaching for something to make fun of? I don't think so. In the space of a month or so, the MPAA and other industry organizations have been throwing around all sorts of numbers - I would have figured the big wheel in the MPAA would have one number.

    Canada should be suing the MPAA and these trade organizations for libel.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    opqdan, May 10th, 2007 @ 12:41pm

    While the numbers are entirely suspect, there is nothing wrong with the 40%/70% thing.

    eg (made up numbers):
    Total movies recorded before: 100/year
    Canada 50/year (50%), NewYork 40/year (40%)
    Total movies recorded after: 50/year
    Canada 35/year (70%), NewYork les than 15/year

    The total numbers drop, which makes Canada's contribution rise as percentage of the whole (even if it dropped itself). Technically, it would even be possible for New York to go from 40%, to say 60% even with the law being effective. This would mean the total would need to drop by a lot more than the NY number. There is no reason why the 40% from NY before should be added to the 70% from Canada after.

    eg: total movies recorded before: 100/year
    New York movies before: 40/year (40%)
    Total movies after: 50/year
    New York Movies after: 30/year (60%)

    This is why statistics without the raw data are completely useless to us.

    They're still just making this crap up, but at least it is mathematically possible.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2007 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re:

    >>Goddamn boy - did your mother eat paint chips when you were in utero?

    You mean Wall Candy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Do your beer math sober, May 10th, 2007 @ 3:57pm

    Re: it's called beer math

    Dude: 13 beers each? What kinda outfit shorts themselves out of 11 beers?

    Do the "60 x 2 = 120 CASES of beer. Easier for the supply guys to miss the "error" and easy to explain away if I got "caught".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Crazy Canuck, May 11th, 2007 @ 6:28am

    MPAA in Canada

    As a Canadian, I 'represent' that remark...
    that camcording at Canadian screenings is the source of copying woes of the film industry...the truth is Canadians are generally easy going affable sorts, and you can make up any lies about us you like, as long as you're willing to buy us a beer at the end of the day... :)

    As for the issues of stealing films, I would look at the digital delivery systems the studios use to do their post-production where high-res versions are moving to and fro, for months prior to release as a much more likely source of the problem...the idea that these streams are 'encrypted' encoded or whathave you, does not really in my view, provide much real protection against piracy.

    Look at the HD DVD & Blue Ray copyright protection code...cracked and disseminated faster than you can say
    '...its those darn Canucks again, don't they have copyright laws up there?'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    SailorRipley, May 11th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Re: I don't thinik it's the same source

    you're right...

    it's so much less of a reach to assume that one week after the stricter law was voted, not only has there been a huge decrease in cam-cording in NY, but enough monitoring of the illegal circuit has been done to be able to accurately re-calculate the percentages...

    If you don't mind, my common sense tells me the *AAs are just talking out of their ass because it's (for very obvious reasons) very convenient for them to say so, particular now

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Louis, May 15th, 2007 @ 2:50pm

    New movies on the fly!

    Maybe the extra 10% is from cam-rips that get their tapes mixed with each other, creating whole new movies!

    Considering the crap Hollywood is spewing nowadays, that 10% is probably more watchable compared to the other 100.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Paul, May 19th, 2007 @ 5:37pm

    More Lies

    I just reviewed each link in the article, and in the case of the ones that lead to other mediocre articles by yourself, I even went through all of those links. No stories that even hint at camming being a shrinking issue.

    I am not anti Techdirt, just anti Mike Masnick

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 19th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    Re: More Lies

    I just reviewed each link in the article, and in the case of the ones that lead to other mediocre articles by yourself, I even went through all of those links. No stories that even hint at camming being a shrinking issue.

    I didn't say in the links from this article... I said we've pointed to such articles in the past.

    I am not anti Techdirt, just anti Mike Masnick

    Nice to know you care...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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