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MPAA head switching things up, trying to re-define a commonly used term related to file sharing

The music and movie industries have relied on misdirection and lies to help spread their view of internet piracy, and a commonly used phrase may have been misused.

MPAA CEO Chris Dodd has changed his mind on what theft really means when speaking about file sharing, saying his organization must become more focused on consumers.

"We're in a transformative [sic] period with an explosion of technology that's going to need content," Dodd recently said. "We're going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented. We're on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery."

Dodd didn't state that file sharing isn't a crime, but signals towards a different approach to deal with the problem.

Classifying downloaded music and movies as “theft” helps polarize file sharing, and some PC users believe file sharing is stealing. However, most PC users didn't consider file sharing the same as physical theft from a store or residence, and file sharing still prospers in an evolving market.

If a person downloads and shares copyrighted content online, they technically aren't depriving the owner of complete ownership of the material. Specifically, it's more of a legal issue dealing with intellectual property rights, and could be addressed in the future.

After Napster and other popular peer-to-peer networks were shuttered, internet users and copyright holders both adapted to a changing battlefield. The RIAA and MPAA will continue to focus more on targeting ISPs and trying to pass legislation, such as SOPA, which failed in early 2012, in an attempt to limit file sharing.

It’s interesting to hear Dodd switch gears, as his trade group continues anti-piracy efforts by lobbying in Washington, D.C.

This isn't a sign that the MPAA will suddenly leave behind efforts to stifle piracy, and a SOPA follow-up is expected in 2013.  In fact, the MPAA recently hired Marc Miller, a former Nintendo antipiracy counsel and computer crime deputy chief at the DOJ, to become MPAA Senior VP of content protection and Internet.

Sources: Mybroadband, Techdirt





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