The RIAA has been pushing our legislators for bills to protect their pocketbooks, such as the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007. This was justified based upon a 2005 MPAA study, where they blamed 44 percent of the movie industry's losses on college students illegally downloading movies.
Associated Press MPAA Admits Mistake on Downloading Study reports
But now the MPAA, which represents the U.S. motion picture industry, has told education groups a "human error" in that survey caused it to get the number wrong. It now blames college students for about 15 percent of revenue loss.
And it gets better.
Mark Luker, vice president of campus IT group Educause, says it doesn't account for the fact that more than 80 percent of college students live off campus and aren't necessarily using college networks. He says 3 percent is a more reasonable estimate for the percentage of revenue that might be at stake on campus networks.
NewsWeek, in MPAA admits mistake on downloading study reports
The original report, by research firm LEK, claims the U.S. motion picture industry lost $6.1 billion to piracy worldwide, with most of the losses overseas. It identified the typical movie pirate as a male aged 16-24. MPAA said in a statement that no errors had been found in the study besides the percentage of revenue losses that could be attributed to college students, but that it would hire a third party to validate the numbers.
It's time for our legislators to take a hard look at bills like H.R.4137. The MAFIAA has been out of control for some time, and this needs to stop.