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
    Sergio, 15 Feb 2007 @ 4:24am

    i understand the claims from industry. they market a product and they have the right to ask the price they deem fair... and we also have the "right" not to buy that product. so, in spite the fact that i download the occasional mp3 file, i know that i'm stealing and i don't even bother to excuse myself in any way. i also have 450 cd's which i wouldn't buy if i hadn't previously heard some tracks from a download. anyway, ferrari also has an unfair price, but people don't steal ferraris. why? because they go to jail, while you can get away with downloading if you are a bit smart.

    as for the companies they are losing profits because of all the crap they release.
    one member of RIAA said that piracy is boosted by people who don't really like music because otherwise they would like to reward the artists and publishers who provide said music.
    well, most of the high quality music out there are from bands that simply don't sell that much because nowadays few people like music that is not bubble gum.

    to each his own, but check out the us charts for the past years... can you see the monstruous load of crap that tops the charts year after year? do you really think thats real music os just an instant crap that will be forgot in one or two years? and how about the people who buy those singles and records? do you think they buy the latest britney spears or the latest from *some rapper speaking about "poping caps, bitchz, weed, pussy* because of the musical quality? no, they buy them because of the mass marketing strategies that publishers use to sell those products. yes, because boy bands, shakira, spears don't make music... they are just a brand NOT musicians.

    so it's really simple, when the target market is given a choice, they will just download the track or tracks they like instead of buyng a crappy album.

    to finish off, the music industry must learn with the videogames industry where most of the companies already provide their games with an online component adding value to the purchase.

    music industry is not adding value to their products, they just want to boost product sales the simplistic ways: while cutting costs they try to bully everyone who downloads a track in order to instill fear on the world world.

    one example, a mate of mine downoladed and shared lot's of metallica albums on napster and he recieved a letter from one of metallica's lawyers stating he would be sued if he didn't remove his files. we are in portugal!!! does anyone in US (don't mean this as an insult) even knows where portugal is on the map? come on, my country has less inhabitants that new york or la.

    talk about paranoia and witch hunt from the record companies... maybe is cheaper to persecute the individual that downloads a copyrighted file for personal entertainment that actually release better movies or records or the same crap but with some sort of added value that makes the consumer want a legal copy.

    but, i mean, the entertainment industry are so clueless that they can't figure other strategies to market their products so it's easier to lie to the sotck holders that the companies are unable to increase profits due to little sophie downloading the latest piece of crap from shakira... hasn't anybody noticed that the bitch can't sing???

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