MPAA admits major error in movie download study

“Hollywood laid much of the blame for illegal movie downloading on college students. Now, it says its math was wrong,” Justin Pope reports for The Associated Press.

“In a 2005 study it commissioned, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that 44 per cent of the industry’s domestic losses came from illegal downloading of movies by college students, who often have access to high-bandwidth networks on campus,” Pope reports.

“The MPAA has used the study to pressure colleges to take tougher steps to prevent illegal file-sharing and to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives that would force them to do so,” Pope reports.

“But now the MPAA, which represents the U.S. motion picture industry, has told education groups a ‘human error’ in that survey caused it to get the number wrong. It now blames college students for about 15 per cent of revenue loss.”

“Terry Hartle, vice president of the American Council on Education, which represents higher education in Washington, said the mistakes showed the entertainment industry has unfairly targeted college campuses,” Pope reports. “‘Illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing is a society-wide problem. Some of it occurs at college s and universities but it is a small portion of the total,’ he said, adding colleges will continue to take the problem seriously, but more regulation isn’t necessary.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Shawn P.” for the heads up.]


  1. Revenue loss? It’s NOT entirely from peer-to-peer. What about the thousands of people burning pirated movies (that are still in theaters) to DVD and selling them on the streets. There are several people doing this within two blocks from where I used to work.

    Maybe the problem goes deeper? Maybe theater prices have gone up way too high in the past five years? Maybe the movie studios should start making movies that people WANT to see in theaters, instead of churning out flops that nobody would pay theater prices to see.

  2. Sounds like the MPAA need s to go bacj to school and sharpen their math skills.

    In any event, a serious study might prove that what’s being thrown out to the public is absolute crap and the public isn’t interested. This year might be different, with movies like Indiana Jones 4, the next James Bond and Batman movies, Cloverfield, and a couple of other which escape me at the moment. Keep bringing us crap like remakes of Bewitched and Dukes of Hazzard and the people will run in the other direction.

  3. I have a good solution to the problem. Lowering the prices.

    People only make certain amount money every month, and they can’t stop eating, so there is only limited amount of money that they are going to spend to the movies and tv shows.

    Instead of buying X amount of movies for Y amount of money, you would be buying 2X for Y. If people would spend the same amount of money in to the movies as they have been spending so far, Hollywood would keep getting the same amount of cash as they have gotten so far.

    The only difference would be that people wouldn’t have to download pirate copies.

    Of course this only works for digital downloads. Not Blu-rays and DVDs.

    Software companies count every downloaded copy (of an app costing 5000$) as a lost sale. Only true when the person could afford it. Not every 15 year old kid can afford the AutoCAD or something. So it’s pretty absurd and movie studios and record companies do the same type of math.

    Another thing that could use a big adjustment:
    – Crappy movies that only have lukewarm story and pretty surface
    – Crappy music – 2 hits & 8 filler tracks

    = Make better content, it makes more money in a long run

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