MPAA Joins Fight Against File Sharing 
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Written by Diane Sherwin   
Wednesday, 10 November 2004

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has announced that it will begin filing lawsuits against “John Does” who they believe have pirated movies on their hard drives. Using a similar method employed by the RIAA, the “John Doe” approach subpoenas the names of those with the hard drives containing illegal material, so that the defendants may be tried.

Lawsuits are set to begin November 16 attacking those who put illegally obtained movies on file-sharing sites, but will not be the only method that the MPAA is using to combat piracy. The MPAA is also attempting to educate consumers about copyright and offering low-cost ways to buy and/or rent movies online, according to Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA.

As part of educating consumers, the movie industry has a campaign in place that mimics its movie rating system, with a new logo and the letter “I” that says “Illegal Downloading: Inappropriate for all ages.”

The MPAA plans to file around 200 suits, while also knowing that without a viable alternative needs to be presented if they ever want success in this new venture. As of now, Movielink and CinemaNow, websites that allow users to rent movies by downloading them have not had the breakout success that has been seen in the music industry with the Apple Computer’s iPod/iTunes.

A potential savior for the MPAA is Netflix, which currently allows users to pick out DVDs they want to rent, and mails them to movie enthusiasts. Netflix has stated that they do not always want to be “DVD-By-Mail,” and stress the “net” part in their name. With their broad access to movie files, the movie industry could have a much smoother transition to legal file sharing than the music industry has, as long as movie companies don’t become selfish and refuse to license their products, as many artists and labels have, which has stifled the music industry’s transition into a more digital, online and consumer friendly environment.

Source: Washington Post

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