MPAA’s pirate booty: What does it really mean?

Hollywood studios claim that film piracy cost them $6.1 billion last year.

Despite the fact that the Wall Street Journal broke the story that the MPAA sat on its own finding for a year, it’s foreign press like the BBC and the UK’s Inquirer that offered (despite their great remove) excellent takes on this sad state of affairs.

As the BBC points out,

“Analyst Todd Chanko of New York-based Jupiter Research said the MPAA should be focusing its efforts on securing international agreement to combate bootlegging around the world. ‘The MPAA has been throwing these kinds of figures around for years,’ he told BBC News website. ‘It’s interesting information, but impossible to verify for the average person.As bad as peer-to-peer copying on the internet is, it’s nothing compared to overseas factories producing pirate DVDs.”

Good summary, too, from the Inquirer, which states that,

“the report has split the MPAA. Some think that it should be released because it shows that Hollywood needs political help, but others think that such a report will damage their stock prices and make a laughing stock of its enforcement efforts.”

Someone ought to press the MPAA’s Dan Glickman on why they blocked their own findings. Come to think of it, perhaps we will.

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