May 14, 2007

MPAA vs. America.

Anyone that knows me knows how long and how much I have hated the MPAA. Here’s a quick explanation of the Motion Picture Association of America:

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its international counterpart, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) serve as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries, domestically through the MPAA and internationally through the MPA. Today, these associations represent not only the world of theatrical film, but serve as leader and advocate for major producers and distributors of entertainment programming for television, cable, home video and future delivery systems not yet imagined.

I could have summarized it in my own words, but I decided it would be more appropriate to “steal” this information and not give credit to its original author while ignoring the copyright. Now that we know who the Nazis are, let’s meet Hitler and his regime:

Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman became President and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on September 1, 2004. Its members include Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, NBC Universal, and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.

That’s enough of the history lesson. Now keep in mind that the people who actually make up the MPAA, other than the President and CEO, are volunteers, but they are also anonymous, meaning the general public has no idea who is saying what we can and can't watch. I decided to investigate this little war they have on “pirates.” Here is some information from the MPAA official site:

“Who are Movie Thieves?”

Anyone who sells, acquires, copies or distributes copyrighted materials without permission is called a pirate. Downloading a movie without paying for it is no different than walking into a store and stealing a DVD off the shelf. Motion Picture Piracy is committed in many ways, including via the Internet through downloadable files, selling pirated DVDs on the street or capturing and redistributing live broadcasts or performances without a license on the Internet. Downloading movies and music without the authorization of copyright holders is a growing international problem that presents serious challenges for the movie industry and has serious legal consequences.

Okay, now we know who they are against, “Anyone who sells, acquires, copies or distributes copyrighted materials without permission” and “Downloading movies and music without the authorization of copyright holders.”

So basically that means everyone in America. Sure, you can lie to me, but don’t lie to yourself. Admit it, you have done or do one of these offenses quite frequently. It continues:

People often download movies on the Internet because they believe they are anonymous and will not be held responsible for their actions. They are wrong. The illegal downloading and swapping of movie files is a serious crime. Pirates and their affiliates can and will be tracked for engaging in Internet piracy.

I’ll bet when this corporate jargon was originally written it was when they were using Spyware to track down those pimple-faced college kids with movies on their parents’ laptops, locking them up, and fining their asses ‘til the day they die. But I’ll bet they never saw it coming when a U.S. Senate committee passed a bill banning the use of Spyware. I remember when that happened, and I remember thinking how awesome it was. It was like a giant middle finger and a big “Fuck you!” to the MPAA from the American consumers. How could they track down these “pirates” without hidden Spyware, tracing IP addresses, or the aid of peer-to-peer programs? They couldn’t. All they could do was take it up the ass.

“Who Piracy Hurts”


The US movie industry provides jobs, revenue and an export surplus for the US economy. Piracy hurts economies everywhere movies are sold, displayed or broadcast. The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any recent sales figures other than the MPAA’s since 2001, but I think it will speak for itself. According to, the Annual Report on the Home Entertainment Industry reports "The home video industry experienced its best year ever in 2001 with U.S. spending totaling $18.7 billion." Disregarding recent years, 2001 was the best year ever at $18.7 billion? This is at a time when VHS rentals ($7 billion) were higher than DVD ($1.4 billion), while DVD sales ($5.4 billion) were slowly taking over the VHS ($4.9 billion). So that brings us to $18.7 billion in sales and rentals in 2001. According to VSDA President Bo Andersen, "It is a $19 billion/year industry and growing." Fastforward to 2005, when the MPAA reported the entertainment industry lost $18.2 billion from piracy, and you can figure in that they are making more money on each DVD than they were on VHS while charging more for new releases on screen, but there sure isn't much left. Now tell me, how in the world could they keep going? Maybe they just love what they're doing and don't need a single paycheck for two years. Maybe. Or maybe the MPAA statistics are full of shit.

Entertainment Industry

The average motion picture cost the MPAA member companies $96.2 million to make and market in 2005. Six out of ten movies never recoup their original investment. Fewer movies will be made and fewer creative risks will be taken if piracy continues to rob those who invest in movies.

Six out of ten never recoup their investments? Right… Well, here are six actors listed with their salaries from 2005:

1. Tom Cruise ($31 million)
2. Johnny Depp ($37 million)
3. Julia Roberts ($20 million)
4. Will Ferrell ($40 million)
5. Will Smith ($35 million)
6. Tobey Macguire (32 million)

You do the math. But they also claim “Fewer movies will be made and fewer creative risks will be taken.” Well, also according to the MPAA:

“The total number of films released continued to increase in 2006 with 607 films released. This is an 11% increase over 2005's 549 films. “



For consumers to continue to experience the variety and quality of movies they expect, piracy must be controlled. The entertainment industry recognizes the potential of technology to deliver content in new and exciting ways. However, the looming threat of piracy can thwart innovation.

I think I see a loop hole here. If people aren’t willing to pay money for these movies, could it be because they aren’t experiencing “the variety and quality of movies they expect?” Piracy doesn’t “thwart innovation,” greed thwarts innovation. Maybe they’ll stop sucking that green paper cock and come up for air.

“Get Involved in Our Fight to Stop Movie Thieves!”

By following this link ( you can file a report and turn in someone you know who is illegally downloading, copying, and/or selling movies. Sound familiar? It should. Go ahead, red-bait your friends. Put them on the MPAA blacklist. You don't need them. You've got new friends like Truman, McCarthy, and all of the Redlegs. Now go report those pinko-Commie bastard neighbors.

"Each week, law enforcement around the world catch movie thieves red handed." Told you. "Since last year, authorities have seized over 81,000,000 counterfeit DVDs."

81 million DVDs? Bullshit. But then I stumbled upon the most interesting article of all:

MPAA Admits to Unauthorized Movie Copying

The Motion Picture Association of America was caught with its pants down, admitting to making unauthorized copies of the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated in advance of this week's Sundance Film Festival.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated looks at the motion picture ratings system created and run by the MPAA. Director Kirby Dick submitted the film for rating in November. After receiving the movie, the MPAA subsequently made copies without Dick's permission. Dick had specifically requested in an e-mail that the MPAA not make copies of the movie. The MPAA responded by saying that "the confidentiality of your film is our first priority."

Dick later learned that the MPAA made copies of the film to distribute them to its employees, despite the MPAA's
stance on unauthorized copying. Ah, there's nothing like the smell of hypocrisy in the morning—apparently the prohibition against copying films without the copyright owner's consent doesn't apply to the MPAA.

"We made a copy of Kirby's movie because it had implications for our employees," said Kori Bernards, the MPAA's vice president for corporate communications. She said Dick spied on the members of the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration, including going through their garbage and following them as they drove their children to school.

A "digital version" of the movie was submitted for screening, according to Dick's attorney, Michael Donaldson. If that digital version turns out to be a DVD, the MPAA could also find itself in hot water for violating the DMCA. Oh, the irony! Either way, the MPAA can't be happy about being put into a position where they are forced to justify the same actions they decry when undertaken by a consumer.

Hitler was responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews, but the MPAA isn’t, at least to the best of my knowledge. But Hitler did want to burn books and the MPAA seems to want to burn movies, and burn them to DVD-R’s apparently. They want to play with fire. It’s a dangerous game to point the finger at America and the entertainment industry’s consumers. I don't have an eye-patch, or a peg leg, not even a parrot, but I guess I'm still a fucking pirate. And guess what? So are you. The ship's already set sail, and now there's no turning back. So raise that black flag and pass me the that a copy of "Spider-Man 3?"

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