by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 31st 2007 5:19pm
For years, people have been pointing out that the MPAA's fears over movie downloading are overblown. After all, the experience of watching a movie that you download is quite different from actually going to the theaters and enjoying a social night out. Yet, the folks in the movie industry continue to misunderstand this simple fact. They insist that movie piracy is destroying the business at the same time that they continually make the movie going experience worse, not better. However, the point is driven home week after week when top movies continue to do amazingly well at the box office, despite being available online. We noticed this years ago when the latest installment of Star Wars did quite well despite tons of downloads. More recently, despite entertainment industry worries that the film Sicko was available prior to release, that film also succeeded at the box office. The latest is The Simpsons' Movie, where unauthorized downloading was such a worry that the opening sequence features Bart's famous chalkboard punishment saying "I Will Not Download This Movie Illegally." Yet, not surprisingly, the movie was both widely available and widely downloaded this past weekend... and did amazingly well at the box office. So, at what point will those in the movie industry finally admit that unauthorized downloads aren't the problem they want them to be?
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