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MPAA could learn from RIAA

The film industry should learn to deal with piracy the way the recording industry is--by making legal means of getting movies easier and cheaper.

In response to the article written by Stefanie Olsen, "Stolen a film? MPAA wants to know":

Sounds like the Motion Picture Association of America could learn a lesson from the Recording Industry Association of America. Instead of chasing after criminals in a mercurial world, encourage these would-be felons to choose legal means to obtain these films at home.

Rather than steal them, sell them at drastically reduced rates to those who choose to download them rather than buy. It's already easier to rent a DVD from Blockbuster and rip it--and for a long time to come, it's going to be a whole lot faster.

The MPAA needs to come to the realization that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is completely unenforceable. DVDs are no more "special" than videotapes. Sure, the first-generation copy is of a higher quality from a DVD than VHS. But a second-generation copy of a digitally "remastered" tape isn't going be of a lesser quality.

The movie industry should accept the unchangeable fact that a sizable percentage of people are going to make copies. They should learn from their own mistakes of 25 years ago; rather than search and destroy video rental outlets, make money from them.

I'd be hard pressed to choose between going to Blockbuster and renting a DVD for $4 or downloading it for $3--especially if the studios used high data transfer rates as opposed to the "catch as catch can" rates of peer-to-peer software.

Failure to do this will cost the industry money today as well as tomorrow.

Jim Harmon
Clearfield, Utah