MPAA, RIAA Create Yet ANOTHER Lobbying Group; Push For Stronger Laws

from the no,-seriously? dept

At some point, you have to just wonder if the folks running the MPAA and the RIAA are just collectively pulling everyone's leg. If it wasn't such a huge waste of taxpayer money while also limiting the economic possibilities of this country, it would almost be funny. Remember just last month that the RIAA and MPAA were leading the charge with yet another new lobbying organization called the Copyright Alliance? That was amusing enough, since the RIAA and MPAA already had plenty of clout -- and their main purpose was lobbying anyway. However, apparently they still don't think it's enough. There's now another new organization called the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy. Of course, it's being headed up by the RIAA and the MPAA, along with the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the pharmaceuticals industry -- two other groups that apparently don't already have enough lobbying clout. This new group is pushing for an intellectual property czar, who will work directly from the White House to crack down on IP violations. As Boing Boing points out, this new group certainly isn't going to shy away from ridiculous and totally unsupportable statements about why it needs stronger copyright laws. They had NBC/Universal's general counsel Rick Cotton state this outright fabrication:
"Our law enforcement resources are seriously misaligned. If you add up all the various kinds of property crimes in this country, everything from theft, to fraud, to burglary, bank-robbing, all of it, it costs the country $16 billion a year. But intellectual property crime runs to hundreds of billions [of dollars] a year."
First of all, even in the most ridiculously biased studies that have been put out by the industry itself have we seen any one that has said that losses total hundreds of billions of dollars. Second of all, each of these industry sponsored reports are easy to prove incorrect. They tend to count every copied content as a lost sale. They tend to double, triple and quadruple count, by including ripple effects that count the same "lost dollar" many times over. They never, ever account for the promotional value of the content and how those ripple effects actually can (and often do) increase market sizes and help companies sell more. Unfortunately, the press and politicians don't bother to report any of this. They'll just take Cotton's completely unsupportable statement as fact.

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  1. identicon
    Chris, 18 Jun 2007 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: prove it

    They can't. Copyright infringement costs the members of the MPAA and RIAA nothing. There is no "Losses due to copyright infringement" line on the balance sheet.

    Wait, let me correct my position: copyright infringement does cost the companies - money spent on useless copy-protection schemes, money spent on useless lawsuits on music sharers, money spent on PR campaigns, and so on.

    Well, the *AA's are counting any download of a song/movie as lost profit. So in essence they are syaing that since you downloaded White and Nerdy off Limewire, Weird Al isn't going to get paid for that.

    However, the flaw is they have no way of knowing if you went out and bought the CD after listening to the downloaded song. So while it really wasn't lost profit (they actually made money because they didn't pay a thing to put the song on limewire, but it made you buy the CD) but it is still counted as lost profit.

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