There are moments, glimmers, where the MPAA has a reasonable argument. For example, they are absolutely right that pirating movies is stealing, and that you shouldn’t do it. The problem is when they take that reasonable argument and drive it like a burning Ferrari off a cliff to plunge in a flaming wreck at the bottom of Idiocy Canyon, like when they argued piracy should give them total control of the Internet with SOPA.
And now there’s their stance on embedding videos. It is true that if somebody embeds a video that’s copyright-protected, and that embed is surrounded by ads, that’s not really kosher.
But it isn’t copyright infringement, because the website didn’t upload the video. It’s the equivalent of bursting into a theater screening a pirated movie and arresting the audience for watching it.
“Although there is nothing inherently insidious about embedded links, this technique is very commonly used to operate infringing internet video sites,” the organization writes. “Pirate sites can offer extensive libraries of popular copyrighted content without any hosting costs to store content, bandwidth costs to deliver the content, and of course licensing costs to legitimately acquire the content.” The MPAA also notes that embedding can enable sites to monetize infringing content by surrounding it with ads.
In a related note, Idiocy Canyon is almost full of burning Ferraris, but we guess we can throw one more onto the pile.
(Image via joelogon on Flickr)