MPAA admit error in piracy study
By Brooks Boliek at The Hollywood Reporter
Jan 24, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The major motion picture studios have egg on their face Thursday as they have been trying to explain to Congress and educators why a key number in a highly-touted study of on-campus piracy was wrong.
In a statement issued Wednesday MPAA spokesman Seth Oster said a 2005 study the association commissioned from research firm LEK "incorrectly concluded that 44% of the motion picture industry's domestic losses were attributable to piracy by college students."
It turns out that only 15% of the industry's domestic losses came from college students, Oster said.
The LEK discovered that there was an error when they were computing losses for the MPAA's 2007 study.
"We take this error very seriously and have taken strong and immediate action to both investigate the root cause of this problem as well as substantiate the accuracy of the latest report," Oster said.
The mistake, which MPAA sources said LEK attributed to a "data entry" error, has left the association scrambling to contain any damage it may cause to the studios' battles against piracy.
MPAA president and chairman Dan Glickman and other executives have been using the 44% number in their arguments to get lawmakers to enact sanctions against an education community that has been reluctant, at times, to aid movie makers' anti-piracy crusade.
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