You may remember that back in late 2010, a Wikileaks leak revealed that the US MPAA had played a large role in rewriting Spain’s new laws on copyright. Well, Wikileaks are back with more entertainment industry news, this time revealing that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had something to do with the recent legal action against iiNet in Australia.
Basically, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and a few Australian departments of major movie studios organised a lawsuit against Australian ISP iiNet for not doing enough to stop unauthorised file sharing on its network. It was all part of a larger plan, attempting to see how far the entertainment industry could go to force ISPs to police their networks more closely, install filters and kick offending users off the network.
Well now, the leaked documents are proving that the MPAA was definitely behind the organisation of the lawsuit.
In Spain, the new laws were passed despite local economists agreeing that they would be a mistake; as Professor Pablo Vazquez and others said, the new laws would benefit major label artists “at the expense of users and lesser-known artists.” Therefore, the recommendation was to drop the reform and “come up with legislation that would allow for reduced copyright terms.”
iiNet ended up winning the court case, meaning that Australian ISPs are safe from draconian copyright law enforcement for now, but the Spain case proves that the MPAA and almost certainly the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) too may only just be beginning to take their fight against piracy into sovereign lawmaking assemblies.
We’ve been on the edge of monumental changes to the way we consume media for the past few years, at least ever since oldschool Napster made it an issue. If Big Entertainment is going to regain the market share it had in the 90s, it’s up to the entertainment industry to kick their innovation into gear and come up with new ways to market music and film. The main puzzle for the 2010s is really going to be up to finding the reasons behind why we consume film, music and television, at least beyond just liking what’s on the avi or mp3. The concept behind the playbutton with its tying music choice into subculture and fashion (don’t you remember being a teenager and playing your music loud so you could show off your taste?) was frankly a good idea in theory, even if that innovation seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Maybe tying public entertainment choice even closer into lifestyle, working harder on exercises in branding and making it easier to instantly acquire official copies might help the inevitable decline of traditional DVDs/CDs/etc.
Does the MPAA have the right to defend current copyright laws all over the world, or is their influence over other countries just a bit skeezy and setting a dangerous precedent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.