by Mike Masnick

Destroying The MPAA's Claims On The Canadian Camcording Epidemic

from the let's-try-that-again dept

Over the last few weeks, we've noted that the MPAA is on a new publicity campaign to make Canadian laws stricter when it comes to people caught videotaping movies in the theater with camcorders. This is silly for a few reasons, including the fact that camcorder movies make up a tiny portion of counterfeit copies out there -- which are dominated by better quality cuts leaked from the movie studios themselves. Michael Geist has now done a fantastic job destroying each and every bogus claim from the MPAA about the situation in Canada and what needs to be done about it:
  • On the studies claiming that a huge percentage of camcorded films come from Canada, Geist notes that the MPAA keeps changing the number they use and give no support for it, and refuse any independent auditing of the number. An independent study doesn't seem to find the threat of Canadian camcorded videos to be particularly high.
  • On the claims of the economic impact of camcorded versions to undercut the market for DVDs, he again points to the fact that camcorded versions have a very short shelf-life. They're almost always quickly replaced by much higher quality leaks from the studio -- or, once the actual DVD is out, copies from the DVD. In other words, any impact directly from the camcorder version is fleeting, at best.
  • As for the claim that Canada's current laws can't deal with the problem, Geist points out that there are already severe penalties associated with camcording films and even the MPAA's own website highlights how Canada's laws are stringent in cracking down on camcorder usage. He also points to numerous reports of arrests for camcording found on the site of the Canadian cousin of the MPAA.
  • And, finally, on the bizarre claim last week that such legislation eliminated the threat of camcording in the US, apparently no one actually asked the theater owners. The president of the U.S. National Association of Theatre Owners was quoted just a few months ago saying that camcording films has expanded across the US over the past few years. That seems quite different than "pretty well eliminated piracy in the US."
Unfortunately, though, most of the press reports still rely on the bogus stats and the bogus story line planted by the MPAA to convince people that the law needs to be changed even further in their favor.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2007 @ 10:10am


    I think it funny how greed turns people stupid. You have to remember that these days what people want is cheap instant gratification. You want to slow down piracy? Heres an idea, release the DVD along with the theater release and lower DVD prices, also release the movie once its done, dont make fans wait. The only pirated movies i have seen are those that had not come out on dvd just yet but pirated versions were available and others that could be downloaded before the theater release. I know plenty of people who love movies but hate movie theaters. Why make them wait? So movie theaters can make money? Screw that. Piracy is a reaction to force, being forced to go to a theater to see a film, forced to pay unfair amounts for a dvd. I say screw em, let them rot in their greed. i feel no pity for a multimillion dollar industry that claims to be losing millions due to people copying their films.

    You call others stupid and then make one of the most stupid arguements. If the DVD was released synchronous with the Theatre release, the ticket sales would drop. Studies already have proven that releasing DVD's early hurts theater sales.

    Most of the up front revenue comes from theater sales. I like the fact that theater's make money, as I enjoy visiting the movie theater often.

    You say screw them, but it is THEIR RIGHT to release THEIR PRODUCT when they think it is best.

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