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MPAA Reduces Blame on College Students for Movie Piracy

MPAA Statement on Motion Picture Industry Losses Due To Piracy Among College Students

The following statement was made by Seth Oster, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications for the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

In 2005, the Motion Picture Association of America hired LEK, one of the world’s top consulting firms, to conduct a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive study of the global economic impact of movie piracy. That study shed light on the international effects of motion picture piracy and gave the industry its first look at the extent of Internet piracy both domestically and in 21 other countries.

While in the process of recently updating that study with current data, we discovered there had been an isolated error in the LEK process two years ago that resulted in an inflated number for piracy by college students. The 2005 study had incorrectly concluded that 44 percent of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses were attributable to piracy by college students. The 2007 study will report that number to be approximately 15 percent — or nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in stolen content annually by college students in the U.S.

We take this error very seriously and have taken strong and immediate action to both investigate the root cause of this problem as well as to substantiate the accuracy of the latest report. Additionally, the MPAA will retain a third party to validate LEK’s updated numbers. We are confident that when the report is complete it will provide an accurate and reliable assessment of worldwide piracy.

Piracy remains a profound global problem that affects not only the motion picture industry, but consumers, the overall U.S. economy and American workers generally. American workers miss out on thousands of new jobs each year and billions of dollars in earnings, in addition to the cities and towns that lose millions of dollars in tax revenue – all due to piracy. The latest data confirms that college campuses are still faced with a significant problem. Although college students make up three percent of the population, they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of stolen movie products in this country.

We will continue to aggressively fight piracy on all fronts including working to forge alliances with other copyright organizations, deploying technologies that help combat piracy and working closely with governments around the world who recognize the importance of intellectual property to a strong economy.

About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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