For two years, the film industry has relied on an erroneous figure to persuade the public that college students are thieves. The MPAA acknowledged Tuesday that a survey it released in 2005 overstated the damage caused by piracy at the nation's universities. The MPAA now says that instead of 44 percent, students account for 15 percent of domestic losses.
Why did colleges stay mum on MPAA stats? Tech news blog - CNET News.com
I must say that I am shocked (NOT!) that the folks from the MPAA would exagerrate their claims. I think this report is probably only the tip of the iceberg. I bet if one were to look at the tactics of the RIAA/MPAA more closely, you would find that exaggeration and exploitation of data and revenue losses are at the heart of most all the arguments they make. For example, they claim huge numbers when describing their "losses" because of file sharing. The reality is that a large number of people, when asked, wouldn't buy the narrow, crappy entertainment they offer. It's frequently overpriced and overvalued. While many might check out the junk they offer for free, they simply aren't willing to shell out their hard earned entertainment dollars on it. Again, if you ask the file sharing community, many of them are willing to purchase the content they find appealing to them or at least are willing to use ad supported content. The point to be made here is this:
Just because someone consumes content over a P2P network, it doesn't mean that they would be a paying consumer.
With this being said, all of the claims of huge losses by the industry are hogwash. This concept isn't hard to grasp. What's hard to believe is that the politicians in Washington are taking this crap hook, line and sinker. The reality is that the industry is dying a slow painful death due to their unwillingness to embrace the digital age they helped to create in the first place. The lobbyists are working hard to convince lawmakers that they are being victimized by file sharing. The only thing they are being victimized by is their own stupidity for clinging to an outdated business model.