Business

MPAA Changes Antipiracy Tactics With New Website

After spending years focusing on fighting the sources of video piracy, the Motion Picture Association of America is trying something new: publicizing consumers' legal avenues to view their desired content.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is  well-known for its hard-line stance against video piracy, which makes the group’s latest move to discourage it  seem  mild by comparison.

The companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love.

In an effort to draw attention to the legal film-watching options available to consumers, the association launched a new website, “Where to Watch,” a clearinghouse of sites where you can stream content legally, as well as find such content to view.

The list of sites goes beyond the obvious—Netflix, Apple iTunes, HBO Go—to show consumers options they may not have known about, such as the recently launched Warner Archive Instant, a platform that recently took on some of Netflix’s former programming.

So why take this approach now? Simple, says MPAA President Chris Dodd: The association wants to show people that content distributors are catching up to the same changing climate that led to piracy in the first place.

“There have never been more ways to access movies and television legitimately online, and those platforms continue to grow and develop thanks in large part to a copyright system that encourages innovation, risk, and growth,” the former Democratic senator from Connecticut explained in a press release [PDF]. “The companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love.”

The association has previously put much effort into legislative and legal battles, including throwing its support behind the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). However, Dodd said last October that the public battle over those bills taught the group that it needed to change tactics.

“When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event,” Dodd said at the time. “There were 8 million emails [to elected representatives] in two days .… People were dropping their names as cosponsors within minutes, not hours.”

When looking to change the conversation, what solutions would you offer to associations in the midst of such a change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

(wheretowatch.org screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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