Culture

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
fairness, movies, mpaa, piracy, propaganda, uk



BBC Presents MPAA Propaganda On Movie Piracy, Claims It's 'Fully Balanced'

from the on-one-side-of-the-scale... dept

You may recall back in 2007, that the BBC put on a program all about the "dangers" of WiFi that was entirely one-sided and had shoddy reporting, bad science and (best of all) conflicts of interest, as one of the main participants sells products to protect people from so-called radiation. The program was widely criticized, and many months later, the BBC finally admitted it made some mistakes with the program -- but the only one it would admit was that it was unfair in how it presented the one dissenter who pointed out that there's little to no evidence that WiFi causes any harm.

It looks like the BBC has done the same thing yet again. TorrentFreak notes that it just did a segment on all of the harm done by "piracy" to the movie industry, including quoting the already discredited report, paid for by the movie studios, claiming that movie piracy funds terrorism. Beyond that, the BBC program speaks to four different people -- all of whom agree that movie piracy is a hugely dangerous problem that could (they claim) end the movie industry in the UK. Do they present any evidence? Other than the discredited Rand study, not a bit.

So when someone complained to the BBC about the piece, you would think that maybe they'd realize that the piece had been a bit one-sided, but instead, they responded:
This report focused in on a legitimate problem for both the film industry and the authorities as they try to tackle what is an ever increasing and profitable criminal activity. We feel the report outlined the laws surrounding the issue of film piracy adequately and that the interviewees from the film industry were entirely appropriate people to comment on the problem.

Impartiality is the cornerstone of all our output, and we feel this report was fully balanced in it's coverage of copyright theft.
You see, apparently there is no other side to the story, and you can take the word of the industry insiders, because they're the only ones who can or should comment on the issue.

Amusingly, TorrentFreak also points out that the previous segment on that same broadcast, was about pirate radio, where the participants are described as "lovable." Yet, suddenly, when it switches to movies, they become "no laughing matter." Why? Did it ever occur to the folks at the BBC that perhaps the issues are actually the same -- and the people involved in both types of "piracy" are effectively doing the same thing? Apparently not.

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  1. identicon
    Ole Olaffson, 27 Apr 2009 @ 2:24pm

    RAND Report

    To summarise the 150+ page report would be a job for a better writer than I am, but I'll try:

    "The study was made possible by a grant from the Motion Picture Association (MPA)."

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