MPAA Tackles ‘Piracy’ With Education

The MPAA recently announced the “2nd annual anti-piracy public service announcement (PSA) contest among college students in partnership with Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE),” according to a recent press release.

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

“SIFE, with programs in 1,800 universities in 47 countries, is a business and higher education network that mobilizes university students to utilize knowledge learned in the classroom to implement projects that address real world business and economic issues in their communities.”

The contest is likely part of the MPAA’s efforts to stop piracy that is currently ongoing on the streets and on the Tnternet. The MPAA cites a study by LEK that claimed the industry lost “$6.1 billion to piracy in 2005.” This was a rather vague point that was cleared up more when it elaborated, “more than $2 billion [was] due to internet piracy.”

These figures, interestingly enough, were not necessarily attributed to file-sharing directly, but it might be a good chance that they could be indirectly related. Yet, the report the MPAA cites is also aimed directly at college students. It claimed that college students were the cause of an “estimated […] 44% of the movie industry’s domestic losses—over $500 million annually.”

Other than the US, as indicated by various winners, the press release does not appear to identify the other 46 participating countries.

Another educational initiative by the MPAA which consisted of scouts getting merit patches that “respect copyrights” was under fire by many advocates who claimed that these initiatives serve to do little more then “brainwash” children.

A controversial study known as the Pollara study, initiated by CRIA, revealed that while people in the younger age groups did do more file-sharing, they also were the largest financial supporters of the industry as well.

While the debates and studies that contradict each other may not end any time soon, one thing is for certain: public awareness over these issues is on the rise. It is something many on both sides of the debate will agree on as being a good thing.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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