Financier for MPAA Members Arrested – Court Battle Looms

It may get a little harder for the MPAA to play the moral card – not to mention getting funding for movie production for it’s members.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

It is no secret that the copyright industry likes to talk about morals when it comes to unauthorized downloading. Unfortunately for members of the MPAA, morals might be playing against them now. The New York Times has learned that Ryan Kavanaugh, the chief executive of Relativity Media was arrested recently.

The article says that the charges include drunk driving, speeding and driving with a suspended license.

Relativity Media is no small fish in the movie industry, financing virtually every movie studio, the biggest being NBC Universal with the recent $3 Billion deal, the previous deal funding the movie “Changling”.

The MPAA has already been having difficulties with cash – a seemingly direct result of the financial crises hitting the United States hard. We investigated how hard a little over two months ago and the outlook wasn’t looking good. Obviously, with such a big player in the financial department being detained isn’t going to help much.

Perhaps the MPAA also thought it was finally in the clear with moral conflict when they were accused of pirating “This Film is Not Yet Rated” two years ago – maybe not anymore.

Coincidently enough, the company made a $550 million dollar deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment, a company already under a lot of bad PR.

A French arm of Sony had a nightmarish story earlier this year. We broke the story that Sony was sued for software piracy and had their assets seized in France. The story brought back memories in the file-sharing community of a previous scandal known as the Sony Rootkit Scandal. Some suggested that it was a form of karma coming back to haunt the company. Sony had to settle class action lawsuits in several countries including Canada.

This latest blunder may not be of the same magnitude of Sony getting sued for software piracy, but it could continue a long list of memorable blunders the copyright industry has been involved with.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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