MPAA Head Thinks Piracy Shouldn't Be Called "Theft"

Illustration for article titled MPAA Head Thinks Piracy Shouldn't Be Called "Theft"

MPAA head Chris Dodd backtracked on the association's stance on piracy in comments made to Variety over the weekend:

"We're in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that's going to need content… We're going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented… We're on the wrong track if we describe it as thievery."

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While he didn't say it's not a crime, Dodd's words are quite the reversal from the organization's official policy. The MPAA has been pretty hell-bent on making piracy synonymous with theft for many years. Just look at its "you wouldn't steal a car" campaign.

We can only hope that Dodd's words signals a shift in the way piracy is treated in the eyes of the law. There should be nuances—someone who is downloading a movie to watch on their own shouldn't be pursued in the same way as a person that is ripping a movie and turning around and selling it for a profit. At this point, Dodd's statements are a definite change in rhetoric for an agency that will hang people out to dry for illegal downloading. [Variety via TechDirt via Geekosystem]

DISCUSSION

geekymitch
geekymitch

See I honestly don't have issue with piracy being equated to theft. I have issue with the fines they are entitled to levy. Punishment should fit the crime and all that. If you want to calculate my downloading an entire album at 20 bucks, or whatever a CD costs nowadays, I wouldn't have an issue with it. You DL without buying, you pay the fine. Likewise if I download a movie and get caught, alright, you got me, here's the 13 bucks I would have paid for an insanely overpriced movie ticket...and I'll even throw in the revenue the theater would have gotten from my twelve dollar popcorn and soda.

But no, that's not how it works. You download a song torrent which could then have been touched by lord knows how many others...so instead of dinging you the cost of the song, or the album, or even a flat amount, they go after you for what...10 grand a song? You're telling me that by downloading the latest piece of shit that Nickelback releases, I'm costing you 180,000 in revenue? I don't bloody well think so.