updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri April 23, 2010
MPAA didn't provide government with data sources
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may have presented inaccurate information to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding the economic impact of unauthorized file sharing. At the same time, the MPAA refused to reveal how it came up with some of the numbers in its piracy statistics. One major statistic the MPAA was caught red-handed at involves the 2005 claim that 44 percent of unauthorized file sharing comes from universities.
The MPAA finally admitted it made a calculation error and the corrected number was 15 percent rather than 44. The GAO attempted to look for itself into how these numbers were generated, but the MPAA did not share all of the requested information.
"It is difficult based on the information provided in the study to determine how the authors handled key assumptions," the GAO said in a report. Without this information, government analysts couldn't properly evaluate the 2005 MPAA survey.
Critics have argued that the MPAA and RIAA have tried to overemphasize the perceived damage to their businesses by piracy to justify their measures. Among these have included calls for three-strike policies within the US and particularly high lawsuit payouts for damages, even when the actual number of songs allegedly shared was small. [via TechDirt]