MPAA Reminding Universities They Need To Crack Down On File Sharing -- Leaves Out How It Lied To Get The Law Passed

from the omissions dept

Back in 2008, we wrote about how the MPAA convinced Congress to pass legislation to make colleges and universities responsible for reducing copyright infringement on campus or lose federal funding. The law was really a trial run of sorts -- an attempt to see how this could work for making ISPs responsible. Of course, in order to get the law passed, the MPAA flat out lied. It made up numbers, saying that 44% of "losses" from file sharing came from college campuses. This number was so ridiculously wrong that the MPAA later claimed "human error" before saying the number was really 15%. But even that was dubious -- and when the GAO asked the MPAA to support these numbers, the MPAA refused to provide the data. Pretty telling.

So, the entire law was passed under totally false pretenses. If Congress had any sense of what's right, it would repeal the law. But, instead, the law went into effect recently, and now the MPAA is sending out letters reminding universities that they need to start acting like copyright cops. Of course, they leave out the fact that they got the law put in place by lying to Congress. Funny how they would omit that. So, kids, the lesson of the day is: it's okay to lie to Congress to force colleges to spend money to protect your obsolete business model, but sharing a movie you really liked with a friend is evil. Makes sense.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Geek Hillbilly, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 4:10am

    And the MPAA needs to be reminded that when you treat your customers like criminals,very soon you have no customers.

     

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  2.  
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    robin, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 4:18am

    Mafia

    There's no quantitative difference between the MPAA letter and this classic: http://bit.ly/1sW8Dw

     

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  3.  
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    Cipher-0, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Conflicting law?

    How does this not contradict the section 230 safe harbors?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 5:14am

    Bill Clinton gives lying to congress 3 thumbs up!

    ...wait, that's no thumb...

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Michial Thompson, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 5:44am

    What's the difference

    little mikee;

    What's the difference between the numbers the MPAA makes up and the numbers you make up? You throw tons of made up numbers around and rarely if ever back up your numbers with facts.

    You back up your numbers with links to other made up numbers that have links to other made up numbers. Then you controdict yourself, or worse flip sides faster than a coin toss.

     

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  6.  
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    Black Patriot (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 5:45am

    Re:

    My understanding of the event was that he didn't lie, technically...

    I can't be certain of course, as I was only about 10 at the time.

     

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  7.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    Re: What's the difference

    He cites the MPAA numbers and then he points to where the MPAA admits the numbers are made up. He then points out how the MPAA absolutely refuses to backup the numbers the MPAA corrected their mistakes with. You may have to show me where he cites other numbers.

    You also need to point out where he switches sides.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    All laws in the United States are only passed if you have the money. The consumer is broke so only companies can afford politicians. This entire government is bought and paid for by private corporations. The people have no government and to continue to even vote for the current system is a travesty.
    It needs to be completely dismantled and a true democratic government put in it's place. Anyone that thinks the US is a democracy just needs to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. 'To the Republic for which it stands'. Any person that continues to allow any political party to hold the government and the people hostage you are a traitor.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: What's the difference

    and the primary difference between Mike's alleged 'made up' numbers and the MPAA's admittedly made up numbers is that the MPAA made them up to CHANGE THE LAWS IN THIS COUNTRY!!!11!1!!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: What's the difference

    (Citation needed)

     

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

  11.  
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    bdhoro (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Now it all makes sense

    I was wondering why my school recently changed their network security to no longer allow p2p or bit-torrent. They claimed it was to speed up the network, but I've never heard of any complaints of a slow connection.

    Why the school didn't just write in their e-mail that they're doing this in order to abide by the law is still a little confusing. I was actually surprised when I got here that downloading torrents was allowed, because I had been used to being blocked at my undergrad campus. Now I can get used to being less entertained by my computer on campus just like I used to.

     

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  12.  
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    ignorant_s (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Shady

    Shady, but not surprising.

    It doesn't really matter what number they used, I am sure they were told to fill in the blank and write the check out to _________ Congressional Campaign Fund.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: What's the difference

    I have always assumed you were intelligent but had a specific agenda and needed to alter reality to fit what you want.

    Today, I have changed my mind. I think you are a moron.

    When has Mike made up any numbers? Do you ever read the articles? (that was rhetorical, we know you don't) TechDirt is commentary on OTHER PEOPLE'S INFORMATION. All of the numbers cited came from other sources. Some of the sources have been wrong - and Mike is quick to point out when they are questionable - even if it supports his position.

    It is impossible, at this point, to argue that the number they supplied congress to get the bill passed (44%) is at all reasonable - even the MPAA says it was wrong. In addition, they revised it to 15% and refuse to provide evidence. Now, if someone lies, comes back and says they lied, and then says "trust me", do you? If so, would you like to buy a bridge?

     

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  14.  
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    Amber (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    HEOA Requirements

    The post refers to the HEOA requirements for universities. There was a letter (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1008.html) back in June that was sent to universities informing them of the requirements and the close approaching date. Most of the requirements are not very hard to meet, and several schools were already meeting the requirements. However, it is completely ridiculous that this was included in the first place. The penalty for noncompliance is cutting federal funding to students at the university. (It's not really being enforced, but it's still pretty ridiculous.) It also does not mention any education about fair use.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:32am

    ...and that is why their sales will start to tank, just watch and see how social interactions will push down their sales.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Yeah Right, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    It depends what your definition of "is" is.

     

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  17.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: What's the difference

    > little mikee;

    When you start your response with poorly punctuated ad hominem name-calling, all you're doing is holding up a virtual sign that says "I'm an ignorant douche."

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:43am

    Piracy is not a loss....

    I think they shouldnt be able to call piracy a "loss" when it isnt really. They didnt LOSE anything, they just didnt GET it in the first place.

    Not a loss, but a decrease in sales.

     

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  19.  
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    Thomas (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    money probably changed hands

    as well. Everyone knows that the entertainment industries slip tons of dirty money to members of congress and the various regulatory agencies like the FCC. They law was simply bought and paid for by the entertainment industry, just like many other laws

     

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  20.  
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    BigKeithO (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: What's the difference

    This.

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: What's the difference

    "If so, would you like to buy a bridge?"

    Of course he would he is a troll ... they like bridges.

     

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  22.  
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    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    "MPAA... they got the law put in place by lying to Congress."

    I agree. So, boys and girls.. This holiday season, invite the usual family and friends over, power on the DVD player/media center and provide a good ol'fashioned performance by sharing a movie for all to see. Feel free to provide a copy for anyone who requests one. Why? Because we have no moral incentive to giva a crap what the mpaa mafiaa thinks. }:P

     

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  23.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: "MPAA... they got the law put in place by lying to Congress."

    "This holiday season, invite the usual family and friends over, power on the DVD player/media center and provide a good ol'fashioned performance by sharing a movie for all to see."

    Bingo. That's sharing a movie with your friends.

    Sharing 10,000 copies with complete strangers is something else, entirely.

     

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  24.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    Re:

    And the MPAA needs to be reminded that when you treat your customers like criminals,very soon you have no customers.

    The way I see it, the MPAA doesn't consider you a customer. They would much rather have you as a tax-payer...paying them regardless to whether you consume their content, but they still want you to pay for their content. They push for compulsive licensing for students, but they still want students to pay for the content. Thus, it won't matter how many customers they have, they still have everyone's money.

    And I figure that even if things don't go their way and they loose too many customers, it is just because we are all criminals who are "stealing" their products instead of (what is the truth,) us getting fed up with them and moving on to better things.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    "A few friends" isn't the problem...

    ...it's okay to lie to Congress to force colleges to spend money to protect your obsolete business model, but sharing a movie you really liked with a friend is evil.

    I don't think the issue is about sharing a movie with a friend, nor do I think that would be very evil. Back in the VCR days, people would duplicate a movie onto a tape or two and it really wasn't a big deal, even though it was infringement.

    The issue is that people are sharing a movie not with a friend, but with the entire public Internet. That's quite a different situation.

    Your main point about how the MPAA lied to get the law passed is a good one. There is no need to weaken the point by suggesting that 'sharing a movie with a friend' is what's going on and is what the MPAA is pursuing. That isn't it at all.

     

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  26.  
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    DanVan (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

    Schools are seeing their funding get slashed left and right and are seeing donations nose-dive in these economic times

    And these MPAA morons expect schools to take funds out of their already thin budget to act and monitor copyright issues?

    Idiots

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 9:29pm

    Liabilities on providing fase information

    I think someone should make laws punishing people to provide false information in Congress. And the should be a requirement that if data used to build major assumption on passing a law (the assumptions and supporting data should be listed on appendix of law for reference), the law must be reviewed for revocation on next Congress meeting but being found out.

     

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  28.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 9th, 2010 @ 10:48pm

    Re: "A few friends" isn't the problem...

    The issue is that people are sharing a movie not with a friend, but with the entire public Internet.

    And yet the box office numbers are higher than ever before. What does that tell you?

     

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

  29.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 10th, 2010 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: "A few friends" isn't the problem...

    That they could even be higher (in MPAAs absurd reasoning)...

    If only people wouldn't to give the movies free publicity by sharing it online, I mean, if only they wouldn't steal the movie.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Daemon_ZOGG, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    Re: "MPAA... they got the law put in place by lying to Congress."

    This a partial repost of my earlier comment. Since everyone missed the last half entirely:

    "Feel free to provide a copy of the movie for anyone who requests one. Why? Because we have no moral incentive to giva a crap what the mpaa mafiaa thinks." };)
    The philosophy of "Lead By Example" goes right out the window when it comes to the mpaa/riaa and other copyright MAFIAA groups. After all, it's their outdated business model.. including the lies and deception they feed congress. Morals? Screw'em, if they can't handle reality. };P

     

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


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