MPAA Actually Admits That Some Of Its Piracy Stats Are Bogus

from the not-going-far-enough dept

For years, we've pointed to the bogus stats claimed by the MPAA concerning what kind of impact "piracy" is having. The stats incorrectly count "ripple effects" in a rather troubling manner. First, they only look at the ripple effects in one direction (those that hurt the movie studios). They don't bother to count ripple effects that go the other way (such as cheaper movies for everyone, allowing them to spend more money elsewhere, helping the economy). More importantly, though, using ripple effects is merely double, triple or quadruple-counting the actual losses, as Tim Lee brilliantly explained. Of course, that hasn't stopped reporters from citing these bogus stats as fact or politicians from using those stats to justify ridiculously awful legislation. Given all that, it's rather shocking to hear the MPAA finally admit that the stats in a recent report are bogus -- but only one specific number. Apparently, via some unexplained "human error," an MPAA study reported that 44% of "losses" due to piracy came from college campuses -- which explains the recent efforts to get new legislation forcing colleges to filter internet connections. However, the MPAA is now admitting that the real number is actually just 15%. The MPAA insists all the other numbers are perfectly fine, but didn't bother to address all of the criticisms of the methodology. This likely means that the mistake made here was so egregious that even the MPAA couldn't wait for the new legislation to pass before admitting the error. That alone, is fairly surprising. Hopefully, though, this will start convincing the press and politicians to be at least a little skeptical of numbers coming from biased industry associations.
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Filed Under: bogus stats, mpaa
Companies: mpaa


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  1. identicon
    Brad, 22 Jan 2008 @ 11:58pm

    The future of Digital data ...

    While the MPAA seemingly have reported "incorrect" data, apparently this lil "blurb" has not recieved enough attention at this time. If society as a whole would get off their behinds and stand up for themselves .... Yes I know, American society as a whole is stupid and are just plain sheep to slaughter ... sigh. Look at how Walmart and companies like them are undermining our society and culture ... and yet we ourselves gave them the money to do it with and didn't even start complaining until it was far too late ... Hell, I'll bet that over half of America doesn't even care that this is going on ... and that IS the problem ... Most of American society just really doesn't care as long as they get that "lil" piece ... they're happy. sigh.

    Hell, I bet over half of American society doesn't even know or even care that MS Windows Vista has DRM built right into it. The MPAA are lil cry babies that never figured in the (positive) ripple affect because it wouldn't show a substantial enough loss (if any). If they don't talk about the ripple effect for the good and only focus on the bad ripple effect, of course the losses look catastrophic, but given the entire picture, you will find that the MPAA is just there to fill their pockets ...

    I wish American society would smarten the hell up ... that's not going to happen though, just look at society ... sigh, No, I'm not happy with the way that American society has ... ok, that's for another story ...

    *Steps off soapbox*

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