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Friday, March 7, 2008


MPAA names its Top 25 movie piracy schools


The MPAA may be gearing up for an RIAA-inspired assault on US colleges and universities. Last week the group announced its support for the "Curb Illegal Downloading on College Campuses Act (2007)," and MPAA head Dan Glickman said that his organization would work with school administrators to put an end to movie piracy on campuses, which Glickman says costs the industry $500 million annually.

Most telling, the group has heard the call of Representative Howard Berman and has compiled a list of the most piracy-ridden schools in higher education. This is a page straight out of the RIAA playbook. Here they are, the schools that made the MPAA's "dishonor roll" and the number of students identified as making unauthorized use of copyrighted materials:

1. Columbia University - 1,198
2. University of Pennsylvania - 934
3. Boston University - 891
4. University of California at Los Angeles - 889
5. Purdue University - 873
6. Vanderbilt University - 860
7. Duke University - 813
8. Rochester Institute of Technology - 792
9. University of Massachusetts - 765
10. University of Michigan - 740
11. University of California at Santa Cruz - 714
12. University of Southern California - 704
13. University of Nebraska at Lincoln - 637
14. North Carolina State University - 636
15. Iowa State University - 586
16. University of Chicago - 575
17. University of Rochester - 562
18. Ohio University - 550
19. University of Tennessee - 527
20. Michigan State University - 506
21. Virginia Polytechnic Institute - 457
22. Drexel University - 455
23. University of South Florida - 447
24. Stanford University - 405
25. University of California at Berkeley - 398

A number of schools have the dubious distinction of being on both the MPAA and the RIAA list. The overachievers are: Ohio University (#1 RIAA/#18 MPAA), Purdue University (#2, #5), University of Nebraska at Lincoln (#3/#13), UMASS (#6/#9), Michigan State (#7/#20), North Carolina State (#9/#14), University of South Florida (#11/#23), Boston University (#15/#3), and the University of Michigan (#18/#10). In all, 10 schools appear on both lists, and Purdue University wins the Gold Medal for highest overall ranking between the two combined.

Whether or not the MPAA will get into the trenches and follow the RIAA's pre-litigation strategy is not yet clear, and historically the MPAA has been less eager to wage a public campaign against file sharing. But like Santa, the MPAA is making a list and checking it twice... the question is, are they merely humoring Representative Berman or planning something more aggressive?

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