Friday, January 30, 2009

The Motion Picture Association Of America And Copyrights by Charles Weber

The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) is the national voice of anti piracy laws. The MPAA defines copyright theft as: signal theft, theatrical print theft, digital picture theft (from the internet), unauthorized public performance of copyrighted work, and optical disc and videocassette theft. In the recent years the MPAA has played a major role in identifying and filing lawsuits against people who are liable for these kinds of thefts.

Some people may ask: "what constitutes these kinds of thefts?" or "does the MPAA really go after the small fries?" The truth is that the MPAA considers any kind of illegal duplication or performance of copyrighted pieces of material theft punishable to the full extent of the laws broad arm. And yes, they will go after the "small fries" as well as the big profiteers.

Here are some definitive answers to what constitutes some kinds of actions considered thefts by the MPAA:

* Theatrical print theft: Stealing the physical film from an authorized showing establishment, or straight from the studio. This form of theft is serious because it allows the thief to make high quality duplicates of the film for personal use or to resell for profit.

* Signal theft: when someone illegally taps into cable TV systems and receives programs usually paid for by the viewer at no cost. Many thieves have made substantial amounts of money selling devices specially designed to tap into cable or receive unauthorized satellite transmissions.

* Digital picture theft (via the internet): the internet can be easily utilized to download stolen or decoded movies. Some people are unaware that this kind of action is a theft! These things are considered a theft because they are taken from the internet without prior consent to the copyright owner. Just because money was exchanged (which many internet download sites and programs may ask of you to do to trick you into thinking it is a legitimate service) DOES NOT mean that it is legitimate. Even illegally hosting and streaming music for others, who did not purchase the music, is considered illegal.

The MPAA goes through great efforts to catch and prosecute offenders. Besides, how would you feel if you spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours producing a movie to sell to the public and instead of seeing profit for your hard work and time spent, you see nothing? This is why the MPAA considers such acts as those stated above as stealing.

Charles Weber is an upcoming writer who researches various topics concerning the internet, media production, and other current events topics. Content should be taken as information and not legal advice. His website with more information about copyrights can be found

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