MPAA Hypocrisy

Posted on Tuesday 24 January 2006

Everyone knows that the Motion Picture Association of America is very much against unauthorized copying of movies. Then why is the MPAA admitting that it copied a movie, when it was specifically told not to by the copyright owner.

The movie in question is Kirby Dick’s This Film Is Not Yet Rated. According to the story on Los Angeles Times, Dick specifically requested via e-mail that the MPAA not make copies of the movie. In spite of the very clear wishes of the copyright owner, the MPAA goes ahead and makes additional copies for its internal use anyways.

Do you see something seriously wrong with this situation. Here is an excerpt quoted from the MPAA’s website page on Anti-Piracy.

Manufacturing, selling, distributing or making copies of motion pictures without the consent of the copyright owner is illegal…

Movie pirates are thieves, plain and simple. Piracy is the unauthorized taking, copying or use of copyrighted materials without permission. It is no different from stealing another person’s shoes or stereo, except sometimes it can be a lot more damaging. Piracy is committed in many ways, including Internet piracy, copying and distribution of discs, broadcasts, and even public performances…

…The movie industry has and is taking a firm stance against Internet thieves who steal millions of dollars in copyrighted material with complete disregard for the law.

To rephrase: Piracy is the unauthorized copying of copyrighted materials without permission. Making copies without the consent of the copyright owner is illegal, and no different from stealing another person’s shoes or stereo, except in that it may be more damaging.

But, according to MPAA’s Kori Bernards, the MPAA previously has made copies of other movies submitted for ratings. The MPAA seems to feel that there is nothing wrong with doing exactly that.

From the MPAA’s actions, I guess it is okay to copy a movie, and only use it internally. Does that mean it is okay for me to copy a movie and use it internally, as long as I’m not going to distribute it? If I’m not making money off of the copy I make, and only make a limited number of copies, is that legal?

Last time I checked, the laws apply to everybody, even the MPAA and their staff.

Shouldn’t the MPAA be setting a better example if they really wanted to cut down on the rampant movie piracy.


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