MPAA chief urges criminal sanctions for U.K. piracy

7 09 2007

Tough on piracy, tough on the causes of piracy… Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) prez Dan Glickman has met the new U.K. film minister Margaret Hodge, as well as advisors to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to ask for a change in legislation to make piracy of copyrighted content a criminal, rather than civil offence, reports the Financial Times.

“The UK is the largest international market in terms of studio revenues [outside the US],” Mr Glickman told the FT. “It’s an extremely important market to us, but piracy is very significant there.”

Hollywood has enjoyed its best summer in years, raking in $4.2bn at the US box office, but the industry continues to lose money to pirates, the report adds. Hollywood’s largest studios lost $6.1bn in 2005 to piracy worldwide, according to the MPAA.

The cost of U.S. music piracy: $12.5 billion

23 08 2007

Eric Bangeman is right to be sceptical of the claims made by thinktank The Institute for Policy Innovation, which has presented an alternate methodology for determining the cost of digital music piracy, based on overall impact on the U.S. economy.

While the assertion that the economic impact is broader than merely reduced legitimate sales — lost industry jobs, state sales taxes, for example — appeals to common sense, there are fundamental flaws in methodology over correlation between disparate pricing across a complex market and how that may, in turn, produce a value for lost sales etc.

More significantly, Bangeman points to the equally flawed assumption that, were it not for piracy, the music industry would be in rude health. Why not try signing some decent acts, with talent, that consumers want to buy?

Also rightly pointed out is that the decline in CD sales is interpreted in isolation, without consideration of the corresponding rise in digital downloads.

The full research, also referenced in the piece can be downloaded here.