At some point, you have to just wonder if the folks running the MPAA and the RIAA are just collectively pulling everyone's leg. If it wasn't such a huge waste of taxpayer money while also limiting the economic possibilities of this country, it would almost be funny. Remember just last month that the RIAA and MPAA were leading the charge with yet another new lobbying organization called the Copyright Alliance
? That was amusing enough, since the RIAA and MPAA already had plenty of clout -- and their main purpose was lobbying anyway. However, apparently they still don't think it's enough. There's now another
new organization called the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy
. Of course, it's being headed up by the RIAA and the MPAA, along with the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the pharmaceuticals industry -- two other groups that apparently don't already have enough lobbying clout. This new group is pushing for an intellectual property czar, who will work directly from the White House to crack down on IP violations. As Boing Boing
points out, this new group certainly isn't going to shy away from ridiculous and totally unsupportable statements about why it needs stronger copyright laws. They had NBC/Universal's general counsel Rick Cotton state this outright fabrication:
"Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."
First of all, even in the most ridiculously biased studies that have been put out by the industry itself have we seen any one that has said that losses total hundreds of billions of dollars. Second of all, each of these industry sponsored reports are easy to prove incorrect
. They tend to count every copied content as a lost sale. They tend to double, triple and quadruple count, by including ripple effects that count the same "lost dollar" many times over. They never, ever account for the promotional value
of the content and how those ripple effects actually can (and often do) increase market sizes and help companies sell more. Unfortunately, the press and politicians don't bother to report any of this. They'll just take Cotton's completely unsupportable statement as fact.