MPAA gets its sums wrong

January 24, 2008 // 7:30 a.m.

Tags: #copyright #file-sharing #legal #losses #mpaa #riaa #sharing

The Motion Picture Association of America released a statement yesterday admitting to getting its sums wrong in a 2005 survey often used to browbeat American universities into policing file sharing on campus networks. The inaccurate figures have also been used by the group to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives in the hope of making it illegal for universities to allow file sharing via their networks.

In the original report the MPAA claimed that 44% of the film industry's losses were purely due to file sharing by students attending universities and colleges around the US. The group has now admitted that “human error” caused a slight elevation in that figure.

By slight, they mean huge.

The corrected figures released yesterday now claim that students sharing copyrighted material are responsible for just 15% of the industry's domestic losses. That's almost three times less than originally claimed. Whoops.

The statement released by the MPAA says the group has “taken strong and immediate action to both investigate the root cause of this problem as well as substantiate the accuracy of the latest report” and claims that it hasn't found any other glaring mistakes in the report, but that it will be getting a third party to run through the figures to make sure. Hopefully they'll pick someone who can add up this time.

Any US students feel like writing a letter of complaint to the MPAA for being unfairly accused of single-handedly destroying the US movie industry? Let us know via the forums.

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