A 2005 study by the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that a massive 44 percent of Hollywood’s losses came from college students illegally downloading movies. The agency even used this statistic to push for legislation that would threaten a college’s federal funding if they didn't implement piracy filters. But now, almost three years later, the MPAA is admitting that their study was flawed and that college piracy only accounts for 15 percent of the film industry’s domestic losses. How is it that the study nearly tripled that figure? “Human error,” says the MPAA.
It seems like the MPAA is willing to exaggerate its data in an attempt to specifically and unfairly target college students. That said, the MPAA maintains that the 15 percent figure is still significant and is justification for a crackdown on college students. One has to wonder, though, if the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 would have been created if the original research data showed 15 percent rather than 44 percent.