The MPAA seems to be as stupid as the RIAA

While the recording industry has recently been prosecuting music file sharers, the Motion Picture Association of America has begun to follow suit.

Adam Moss, freshman in management information systems, downloaded movies for years while participating in Internet Relay Chat. Fifty-two of his 68 movies had been illegally obtained by downloading from other users.

“I hardly ever watched any of the movies I had,” he said. “The more movies you have, the more credit you get in the channel and the more power they give you. I didn’t make any money off of it. Having movies was a plus because I could watch movies that hadn’t come out yet.”

MPAA officials found out that Moss was downloading and sharing the movies and contacted K-State, who shares liability for its Internet users’ actions.

“One of the reasons I think I got caught is because I was redistributing them. Someone from the MPAA actually got into my server and saw I had this,” Moss said. “They got all my information and told K-State about it. K-State is the provider of Internet, and K-State has liability, too. They were told what they had to do to get themselves absolved.”

A representative came and deleted Moss’ files as well as obtained his log files, which are proof the movies were present and now are deleted.

Moss also was required to write a letter of apology to the MPAA. His punishment from K-State was having his Internet taken away until the end of the year.

Now, Moss is warning his friends who he has shared the movies with who are not at risk of getting caught.

“I told everyone on the floor that got movies from me to delete them. I told other kids not to do it,” he said. “People are looking for people like me. On top of that, they also took log files saying these are the people that actually downloaded from me and going after them. It’s a huge chain reaction.”

Derek Jackson, assistant director of the Department of Housing and Dining Services, said ethernet users are informed of campus policies, which includes downloading copyrighted material, as in Moss’ case.

“As a student at K-State, you are responsible for these policies,” Jackson said. “When you log on for the first time, there is an agreement you check off on that you will abide by university technology policies. There is a acknowledgment that you don’t break state and federal laws. That situation did.”

As well as file sharers violating MPAA policies, K-State officials also have had to monitor residence hall activities where movies are shown.

“You have to get rights to a public showing,” Jackson said. “This has been a continual battle with hall governments. If you show a movie for public viewing, you have to have the rights to it.”

Jackson said movie rights can range from $100 to $1,000.

But whether it is a public viewing or downloading movies from the Internet, the risk is not worth it, Moss said.

“It’s a huge inconvenience and definitely something that makes me think of not doing it again when I get my Internet back,” he said.