MPAA Starts Backing Away, Slowly, From Bogus Piracy Stats (But New Bogus Stats Are On Their Way)
from the about-time dept
We’ve been among the many, many people who have highlighted the MPAA’s penchant for using totally bogus “piracy” numbers in arguing for why it needs ever stronger copyright laws and enforcement. Others have stepped in with thorough debunkings as well, including its favorite “$58 billion” in losses that was bandied about regularly during the SOPA fight. The Government Accountability Office famously mocked the MPAA’s piracy claims as totally unsubstantiated, in part because the MPAA wouldn’t even explain the basis for the numbers it used.
It appears that so many people now realize that the MPAA’s claims on “losses” from piracy are so ridiculous that even the MPAA has decided not to use those numbers any more. Buried in a longer Wall Street Journal piece by Carl Bialik is this tidbit:
But the MPAA is focusing elsewhere, and no longer citing the earlier studies, after an internal review that followed the SOPA debate, MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman said. “At the current time we do not actively cite the figures directly relating to movie piracy, as the landscape has changed significantly since these studies were conducted both regarding the growth of broadband and the development of streaming technology, as well as the introduction of hundreds of new sites world-wide for viewing legal online content,” Gantman said.
That’s not to say that the MPAA has suddenly become reasonable. The rest of that article highlights other, highly questionable, attempts by the MPAA to justify its maximalist agenda, including new research, some of which seems to rely on similarly questionable methodology. But, at the very least, it appears that the “old” bogus numbers have been so discredited that even the MPAA won’t use them any more.