05 September 2007

MPAA Jets in To Spread Some Cinematic Fantasy

When are these people going to get a clue?

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) president Dan Glickman is today lobbying UK film minister Margaret Hodge, advisers to prime minister Gordon Brown and the UK Film Council to make camcorder recording in cinemas a criminal offence, FT.com reports.

I have no time for idiots who try to record films in cinemas - but they aren't the problem. As Michael Geist noted, when he was rebutting a similar attempt to force stupid laws on Canada, earlier research has shown it's mostly the film industry itself that is to blame:

77% of these samples appear to have been leaked by industry insiders. Most of our samples appeared on file sharing networks prior to their official consumer DVD release date. Indeed, of the movies that had been released on DVD as of the time of our study, only 5% first appeared after their DVD release date on a web site that indexes file sharing networks, indicating that consumer DVD copying currently represents a relatively minor factor compared with insider leaks.

Criminalising the use of camcorders will simply be one more stupid piece of legislation, one more thing the police and legal system don't need, and one more paranoid response to a non-problem.

So MPAA, do us all a favour: save your fantasy world-views for the silver screen.

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