MPAA Admits Mistake on Downloading Study

The Motion Picture Association of America has always claimed great financial, er, ruin based on illegal downloads, and even blamed as much as 44% of its losses on college students.  Now it turns out that number was just a wee overinflated.

In a 2005 study it commissioned, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that 44 percent of the industry's domestic losses came from illegal downloading of movies by college students, who often have access to high-bandwidth networks on campus.

The MPAA has used the study to pressure colleges to take tougher steps to prevent illegal file-sharing and to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives that would force them to do so.

But now the MPAA, which represents the U.S. motion picture industry, has told education groups a "human error" in that survey caused it to get the number wrong. It now blames college students for about 15 percent of revenue loss.

We would agree that's still a decent number.  But it happens to be 3x less than the original number.  Of course, you don't suppose the RIAA and MPAA share study firms, do they?