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MPAA pushes site-blocking as a way to deal with piracy

MPAA believes that forcing ISP's to block web-sites can stop piracy.
August 30, 2014

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been trying to figure out a way to curb piracy for many years. It seems that each year, they find a new, idiotic way of going about trying to stop customers from watching their content.

Recently, Wired wrote a story detailing the difficulty, and therefore absurdity, of those looking to transfer completely legal files who are faced with a number of obstacles due almost entirely to copyright rules that the MPAA/RIAA have pushed onto the public.

But the MPAA seems to have also taken a much sketchier tone in recent threats against MPAA customers. In one instance, TechDirt brought up the fact that the MPAA has been busy trying to act like they have the power to send DMCA notices to those working on Popcorn Time’s open source project. In a number of other instances, the MPAA issues massively over-broad DMCA take-down notices to Google and other search engines and web-sites.

A recent incident showed the stupidity of the MPAA’s attack on public sites that are not well-known until the MPAA brings attention to them. Specifically, the MPAA turned a little-known Reddit sub-forum into a massive sub-forum once the forum got recognition as the place that the MPAA was attacking.

Now, the MPAA seems to be of the belief that forcing ISP’s to block selected web-sites is the way to stop piracy. As Torrent Freak states, the MPAA has conducted internal research to show that site blocking is effective.

Included in the internal MPAA research is this statement:

“Recent research of the effectiveness of site blocking orders in the UK found that visits to infringing sites blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included.”

Except, we have no idea where they have gotten this data. As Torrent Freak correctly notes, the MPAA used their own data to come to the conclusion that piracy is being successfully stopped in the UK.


Then again, this is not exactly new to the MPAA. Two months ago, MPAA boss Chris Dodd stated that ISP blockades are one of the “most effective” ways to stop piracy.

“Here in the United Kingdom, the balanced and proportionate use of civil procedures has made tremendous progress in tackling infringing websites. To date, access to over 40 pirate sites focused on infringing copyright for commercial gain, have been blocked.” – Chris Dodd

Therefore, it seems reasonable to think that this type of action will be shortly pushed by the MPAA onto US ISP’s.

I still think that the MPAA should continue support for throwing elderly women out of movie theaters in the hope that they can deter piracy.