Thursday, June 29, 2006

UK copyright lobby discredits MPAA study pt 2

First, if you haven't read part 1, I would advise you to.

There have been a number of enquiries come in, as to what the conversation has said, and more than once, there has been the allegation that the story is not true. Its been a busy week, but here at last, the emails.

From: B Jones
Sent: 20 May 2006 00:15
Subject: request for clarification of data on

Dear sir/madam

I am sending this email to ask for a clarification of some of the data on your site, specifically its with reference to the second paragraph on the page

My problem is that the figures given vary (between 7-13%, depending on exchange rate) with the figures published by the MPAA in their Lek study ( - page 4). the ITFIPA figures for lost VAT only matches the MPAA figure if the US/UK exchange rate is $1.62=£1 - a rate that has certainly not been seen in the past 12 months.

Thus the question is, how can two organisations with much the same membership, express figures purporting the same thing, yet have such a radical difference in values. how were such values calculated, and how were they checked to be sure they were either accurate or representative.


Ben jones
cc: MPAA

On Tue, 23 May 2006 12:58:00 +0100 , "Stefanie Riese-McCartney" wrote:
In reply to your query on the MPA/LEK study findings, please see the attached. 

This information is so old now (research done in 2004) that I’m afraid it’s lost its currency, which is why we haven’t used it.  The apparent anomalies between our locally produced consumer research and the MPA study are due to the fact that the methodologies employed were completely different. The figure quoted in the MPA research is not a consumer spending loss figure and it is not a loss figure to the industry worldwide -  it is only the revenue loss suffered by the MPA member companies.  So it is a different calculation from the industry loss figures we are talking about locally.

I hope this clarifies things.

Kind regards

Stefanie Riese-McCartney

(On the behalf of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness)

From: B Jones
Sent: 24 May 2006 00:02
To: Stefanie Riese-McCartney
Subject: RE: request for clarification o data on

Dear Ms Riese McCartney
I'm afraid I have to send you another email. Your response did not answer my points, perhaps down to a miscommunication. In my question (kept below) I asked about 'lost VAT' of £108.5Million, on a page copyrighted at 2006. Therefore, I can only assume its a recent figure, after all, if its an old figure with no currency, why is it still on the site, let alone updated. Indeed the only timeframe reference on the page . Additionally, the figure I had put it in comparison to was not "a loss figure to the industry worldwide" as you so succinctly put it, but then, neither is it "the revenue loss suffered by the MPA member companies". in fact, the figure to which I referred you (again, on the lower half of page 4) there is a table showing "Tax Loss Estimates (USD$M)" and listing the UK at '176', or roughly £99.1million. Your VAT estimate is £9.4million over.

The other thing that puzzles me is your statement that the methodologies employed were completely different, which explains the disparities in figures. So, which method is the more accurate and correct? Incidentally, what was the method used to determine your figure. Thank you for your time

Ben jones

On Thu, 1 Jun 2006 09:28:02 +0100 , "Stefanie Riese-McCartney"   wrote:
Dear Ben

Sorry for the delayed response but I have been out of the office until today.

To further clarify our answer to your enquiry regarding the amount of 'lost VAT', the figure of £108.5 million was taken from IPSOS research commissioned by the British Video Association, carried out in November 2005 - the most recent research available. It is based on 17.5% of the cannibalised DVD sales the study identified due to all copyright theft in over 12 months. Differences between this figure and the MPA's can be explained by the time elapsed between studies and the different methodology used. The IPSOS research was done using face-to-face interviews with 2,000 members of the public in GB of 15 years+. 

In carrying out research to determine losses caused by crime, no study will be 100% accurate but we have to use the best information available. 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.  We are using a transparent and up-to-date model to generate evidence to prove our point.

MPA members comprise the Hollywood majors.  The members of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness include UK distributors such as representatives of British TV companies, specialists in non-film entertainment and also the key video manufacturers and retailers in this country.

If you have any other information that is pertinent, statistically viable and up to date, please do let us know as we welcome any information that contributes to our insight into this vexing issue.

I hope this helps but please let me know if there's anything else you would like clarified.

Best regards


Stefanie Riese-McCartney
(On the behalf of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness)

Additionally, I have now re-sent requests to the MPAA and the BVA (whose study is referred to) to get their comments on it. We shall see if they reply.

Ben jones

No comments:

Post a Comment