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?

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Comments on “MPAA Math: 40% Plus 70% Equals?”

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Redmond says:

Re: 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

J says:

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.

Happy Downloader says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Sorce says:

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.

Vincent Clement says:

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.

SailorRipley says:

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

Chronno S. Trigger says:

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.

chris (profile) says:

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.

TheDock22 says:


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.

opqdan says:

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.

Crazy Canuck says:

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?’

Mike (profile) says:

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…

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