sub specie aeternitatis

MPAA to sue Public Libraries

November 7, 2004

A recent study funded by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) found that America’s Public Libraries are increasingly costing movie studies millions of dollars in lost sales. According to the report, which was released yesterday, public libraries across America are offering hundreds of top movie titles to its patrons at no cost. Even new titles just recently released on DVD are often found in the libraries shortly after release thanks to special contributions of so-called ‘friends of the library’. MPAA chief Dan Glickman, who took over the job two months ago from Jack Valenti, said that “these public libraries are, in effect, taking away millions of dollars in revenue each year by allowing anyone with a library card to just take these movies home and watch them, without paying a cent to compensate the hundreds of workers who put their sweat into these films.” In order to compensate for what the MPAA calls “blatant intellectual property theft” of its studio’s content, the MPAA will begin a storm of litigation against those libraries who offer movies to its patrons. “It’s one thing for libraries to let people borrow books on educational stuff like sharks and astronomy and stuff,” commented Glickman. “But its an entirely different game alltogether when they just give away our intellectual property. It’s time to let these libraries know that giving people free access to copyrighted material is just wrong, and that it hurts everyone.”

Public Library Association officials were unavailable for comment.