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Motion Picture Association of America

From Academic Kids

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA, originally called the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association) is a non-profit trade association formed to advance the interests of movie studios. Its members consist of seven major studios: the Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. The organization produces the well-known voluntary film rating system.


Contents

Purpose

The MPAA has sought to protect its members' interests by political lobbying for changes in copyright and criminal law. It seeks to promote digital rights management technologies, which are seen by some as infringing users' rights, and by others as striking the proper balance between consumer wants and artists Rights. The motion-picture equivalent of the RIAA, the MPAA has taken strong steps to try and reduce the number of file-sharing sites online where copyrighted films are made available. In April and May of 2005, signs appeared on the homepages of lokitorrents and elitetorrents (two large bittorrent trackers), stating that each had been taken down due to their encouraging the illegal distribution of copyrighted media.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act

Main Article Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a law which passed unanimously in Congress and was signed by then-President Bill Clinton. It outlines a new paradigm for copyrights, stating that they never expire and paving the way for copy-protection technologies such as CSS. See the main article for more details.

Current Presidency

Dan Glickman replaced the long-serving Jack Valenti as president of the MPAA on September 1, 2004. Valenti, who turned 82 years old in 2003, announced his retirement at the Showest motion picture convention in Las Vegas in March 2003. A noted lobbyist in Washington, DC, he began serving as president in 1966, and has become nearly synonymous with the organization.

See: National Association of Theatre Owners

Criticisms

The MPAA has been criticized for it's use of copy-protection technologies such as CSS allowed under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The MPAA claims that this technology is essential for the protection of studios' rights; however, critics claim that such copy-protection schemes violate First Ammendment rights granted by the United States Constitution. Under the DMCA, the publication of source code that could be used to circumvent copy-protected media is illegal, but under the First Ammendment free speech clause, this is allowed, leading to a contraversy as to where individual rights begin and end. Many outspoken critics claim that though the material is intellectual property, each person who buys a movie owns the individual atoms of the disk, and therefore can choose how he or she uses it. The MPAA claims that file-sharing is leading to similar mass-piracy as is the case in the music recording industry. In 2003 the MPAA launched a series of anti-piracy campaigns for theatergoers attempting to end music piracy by showing production crew talking about money they earn from sales of movies. Critics state, however, that stuios seek the major profits, and that the production crews are paid prior to profitmaking. Investors and corporate studios, they claim, are the prime beneficiaries of movie sales. Even further, critics claim that the term "pirate" is misleading and ultimately incorrect, as nothing is essentially "stolen." Since the original person who owned the movie really lost nothing, then he or she had nothing taken from him or herself and therefore nothing was stolen from him or her. The MPAA has ignored this and, according to these critics, continues to spread "anti-piracy propaganda" throughout the media. Some critics claim that the MPAA, like the RIAA, is a cartel interested only in the studios' interests, and therefore should be outlawed under Anti-Trust laws. Currently, no legal action has been taken against the MPAA over such accusations. Further, newer file-sharing programs and protocols such as Lime Wire and BitTorrent have brought up new concerns about movie piracy. Some believe that the MPAA was so concerned about movie piracy before it was mainstream, that they lost much of their credence, and therefore the MPAA has an uphill battle.

Related topics

External links

fr:Motion Picture Association of America it:MPAA ja:MPAA zh:美國電影協會

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