American Council on Education and the MPAA Spar over College Opportunity and Affordability Act

The American Council on Education has sent a letter to Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Michael B. Enzi regarding copyright infringement provisions in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.

In it, the ACE states:

Recent investigations and reports to the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities concluded that legitimate online alternatives and technologies designed to deter illegal file sharing are largely ineffective. A widely distributed 2005 study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) indicated that 44 percent of its domestic losses due to illegal file sharing were attributable to college students. However, MPAA revealed in January that a re-examination of those data determined that the estimated loss due to college students was in fact 15 percent, not 44 percent. Moreover, since only 20 percent of college students nationwide reside on campus, only 3 percent of MPAA losses can be attributed to college students using campus networks.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has responded with its own letter, refuting the ACE letter. It states:

One filtering product is now deployed at approximately 70 colleges and universities across the country, and it has demonstrated the ability to impede illegal P2P activity on a number of campus networks.

Further, the letter claims that one university has had significant cost savings as a result of filtering.

Meanwhile, an MPAA study revealed that the movie industry experienced record-breaking profits in 2007, casting some doubt on how significant the piracy threat really is.

Read more about it at "Entertainment Industry Urges Congress to Get Tough with Colleges on File-Sharing," "Hollywood's Record Year Shows MPAA's Piracy Folly," and "MPAA to Congress: Filtering Is in Colleges' Best Interests."