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MPAA Says Net Neutrality Hampers Anti-Piracy

The head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Dan Glickman, said in a speech at ShowWest las week that net neutrality would impair anti-piracy measures. The suggestion was that a failure to ban lawful applications on the Internet and forbidding filtering would harm the MPAA’s anti-piracy efforts.

Mr. Glickman said "Government regulation of the Internet would impede our ability to respond to consumers in innovative ways, and it would impair the ability of broadband providers to address the serious and rampant piracy problems occurring over their networks today.

"This effort is being called by its proponents ’net neutrality.’ It�s a clever name. But at the end of the day, there�s nothing neutral about this for our customers or for our ability to make great movies�blockbuster first-run films�in the future. If Washington had truth in labeling, we�d call this proposal by another name: Government regulation of the Internet."

In summary, Mr. Glickman said, "We are opposing so-called ’net neutrality’ government action. And, in the process, we are standing up for our customers, for our economy and for the ability of content producers to continue to create great movies for the future."

Mr. Glickman’s comments have irritated independent filmmakers. In a letter dated 14 March to Mr. Glickman from Jean Prewitt, President and CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, she wrote: "The Internet offers the only truly open opportunity for independents (whether or not commercially oriented) to reach consumers because both free and cable television have been foreclosed in the wake of massive industry consolidation....

"That openness is threatened by the power of a small number of broadband providers to discriminate unilaterally against some categories of users or types of traffic or to accord preferential treatment to certain content providers over others, all under the ambiguous claim of ’network management.’ "

The IFTA letter suggests that the ultimate intention is to have the Internet managed by a small number of companies who would seek laws promoting their control, ability to filter and "manage" traffic, all in the name of anti-piracy. Government regulations to manage the Internet fairly would interfere with that, and that’s why the MPAA opposes net neutrality.

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