23 January 2008

Lights. Camera. Oops!

I've been struggling to come up with the right words to respond to the report at the MPAA grossly overstated the impact of college campuses on movie piracy due to a "data entry error". A data entry error? Too bizarre.

The MPAA and RIAA have been incredibly focused on trying to control the exchange of copyrighted information on campuses. As best as I can understand their thinking, this stems from a belief that campuses are the leaders in bandwidth, and because of their perception that this is where students learn to swap materials online. Both these assumptions are now just wrong. There's a million times more bandwidth out there going into homes than there is on college campuses, and by the time students get to our campuses, they've been swapping online for years.

I do have sympathy for content creators who are watching the monetary value of their intellectual property erode. And it's not easy to know how to manage what comes next - I heard the erudite and entertaining Jack Valenti a couple of years before his death opine that "Yes, we know we need a new business model, but it's hard to come up with one that competes with 'FREE'." But this latest incident just seems to highlight the ineptitude and general ineffectiveness of the MPAA. A data entry error? Give me a break.

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