The MPAA's recent LEK study into intellectual property theft has been dismissed by the UK's Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness (ITfIPA) as inaccurate and out of date.
The dismissal came after discrepancies between that report, and figures the ITfIPA itself publicises were highlighted. Stefanie Riese-McCartney, spokesperson for the trust, said of the Lex study “This information is so old now (research done in 2004) that I’m afraid it’s lost its currency”. She then went on to say that a British Video Association study from November 2005 was more accurate as it was more recent. The study consisted of “face-to-face interviews with 2,000 members of the public in GB of 15 years+”. The MPAA were contacted, but did not respond.
Apparently, though, there is some confusion as to what the actual public line should be, since at two points Miss Riese-McCartney defended the differences in values (£108.5M for the BVA study, $175M/£98.5M for the MPAA study) as “due to the fact that the methodologies employed were completely different.” Although how they can use two different methods to measure the same thing, have a 10% difference, and still believe either to be accurate beggars belief. Unless, then, there has been a schism in the nature of reality, one, or possibly both, figures are wrong. Fortunately, the ITfIPA does also give a 3rd reason in the same set of statements.
“The figure is used on the piracy is a crime website to make the point that piracy is making a huge impact on many levels, not just losses to copyright owners. Although it's certainly important to be accurate, we have a common aim with the MPA and other organisations to raise awareness of the harm done by piracy.” - in short, whilst accuracy is nice, getting our point across is nicer.
However, this is not the first time the ITfIPA has revealed information that has broken with the broadly established copyright agency gameplan. In December 2005, the ITfIPA let slip that they considered public domain material copyrighted.
**UPDATE** - 29/06/06
Now read part 2
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