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Shooting The Messenger – MPAA, BitTorrent and Star Wars

May 22, 2005

To no one’s great surprise, a copy of the new Star Wars episode managed to make it onto the P2P networks a few hours before the movie was officially released in theaters.

Also no surprise, the MPAA appears to have decided to blame this on BitTorrent technology (the copy first showed up as a BitTorrent tracker), rather than on individual wrong-doers for leaking or spreading the copy.

“There is no better example of how theft dims the magic of the movies for everyone than this report today regarding BitTorrent providing users with illegal copies of Revenge of the Sith. The unfortunate fact is this type of theft happens on a regular basis on peer to peer networks all over the world,” MPAA President and CEO Dan Glickman said in a press release.

Which makes you wonder if the MPAA thinks that BitTorrent is a nefarious evil genius working in an underground laboratory somewhere rather than just one of a bazillion protocals used to move stuff from point A to point B around the ‘net.

This is rather like blaming the US Postal Service for people mailing various illicit or dangerous white powders.

It appears that the distribution didn’t inordinately cut into the weekend box-office of the new film.

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