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Motion Picture Ass. of America makes ass of itself

Caught pirating DVD

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If it's your job to stop people pirating movies, you should really be very careful not to get caught making pirate copies.

But that's what the Motion Picture Ass. of America has managed to do. The MPAA lobbies for stronger action against pesky pirates and more effective digital rights management. This week it admitted copying a movie, but effectively claimed it was above copyright law.

The MPAA also runs the US rating system. It views films and allocates ratings according to content - G for general audiences, PG for parental guidance.

That was how it got its hands on a copy of "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" - a documentary about how the MPAA rates films. The director, Kirby Dick, specifically asked the MPAA not to make any copies of his film. Dick was assured by an MPAA representative that "the confidentiality of your film... is our first priority. Please feel assure [sic] that your film is in good hands".

But on Monday the MPAA admitted it had made a copy of the film but claimed, because their staff were the subject of the film, they were not breaking copyright law.

An MPAA spokeswoman said: "We made a copy of Kirby's movie because it had implications for our employees. We were concerned about the raters and their families," the LA Times reported.

She added that the film was "locked away" and no further copies were being made - good to know they're not flogging them down the market then.

More from the LA Times here. ®

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