Talk:Motion Picture Association of America

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3rd Opinion: Terminology Use[edit]

MPAA Changes of the terms "pirate," "piracy," and derivatives to "unlicensed" and derivatives. There seems to be disagreement as to whether or not this is accurate, and whether or not source use of "pirate" warrants their use in the article outside of quotes and names of groups/plans/policies.

I believe the terms used in the change are more objective and unbiased, as the traditional pirate is a seabearing criminal. At best, the term is a colloquialism, but is more likely a politically aligned term. (talk) 21:47, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

The Third Opinion request made in reference to this matter has been removed because the matter has not been thoroughly discussed here on this talk page. The guidelines of the Third Opinion project say, "Before making a request here, be sure that the issue has been thoroughly discussed on the article talk page. 3O is only for assistance in resolving disagreements that have come to a standstill." All forms of content dispute resolution at Wikipedia have a similar requirement. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:55, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Introduction of POV terminology[edit]

There has been a spate of edits altering the terminology by replacing occurences of "piracy" with "unlicensed distribution". I do not agree with the edits, basically because it is not backed up by the sources used in the article nor is it accurate either.

Our own copyright infringement article defines "piracy" to be the "unauthorized copying, distribution and selling of works in copyright." i.e. 'piracy' extends beyond merely "unlicensed distribution": it also involves the act of copyright infringement and profiteering; essentially theft. For example, "unlicensed distribution" could simply refer to someone who lends a DVD to a friend, or someone who loans out legal editions of a film without an appropriate leasing license. Alternatively, I could hire a film and make a copy of it for my personal use, essentially infringing the copyright. None of these acts constitute "piracy". If I made a copy of a DVD and hired that out to people, that would be piracy i.e. profiteering from the unlicensed distribution of an unauthorized copy. Therefore the changes are by definition incorrect.

Secondly, "piracy" isn't a slang term, it is terminology that is used by a wide range of media in regards to this specific act; to limit examples to just sources used by this article:

Replacing terminology that is used predominantly by the sources with a made-up term that isn't used by the sources is WP:Original research, which is prohibited. Betty Logan (talk) 22:09, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Justin Huges wrote a [4] on copyright and its history published in the Southern California Law Review, volume 79, page 993. This was in 2006.
Included in his studies was Adrian Johns' "Nature of the Book" published in 1998 by the University of Chicago Press. Johns traces the origin of the term back to the 17th century, where the term was technically defined (it had existed since Bishop of Oxford John Fell used it to refer to unauthorized copying of books, shortly after the Restoration. Fell restarted the Oxford University Press, the academic publisher.) The definition had technical meaning in the seventeenth century: "a pirate was someone who indulged in the unauthorized reprinting of a title recognized to belong to someone else by the formal conventions of the printing and bookselling community." Johns mentions that the term was soon applied to perceived transgressions of all kinds by printers.
In the US, the first use in a court case was v. Fiske in 1820. Hughes mentions that there was already a wide meaning and use of the term by the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." The broad usage of the word "piracy" shows that it was generally equated with infringement: there seemed to be no requirement either that the infringement be a "nontransformative" use or that the infringement entail reproduction and distribution on a massive scale."
The origin of the term was not, as you put it, profitable unlicensed distribution. Nor did, at any time in the first 200 years since its creation, have I ever heard of such a use. The term is ambiguous vernacular for a wide variety of activities. The only thing these activities have in common is the license (or earlier on the social contract) being broken.
I therefore submit that the term is indeed slang, and should not be used in an academic context. The term's use strikes me as political theater. (talk) 23:16, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Less technical notes.
The sources may use the terms I changed, but they are not quoted in this article. That combined with the above technical and below non-technical notes attest the terms are synonymous to a degree, with unlicensed distribution being less ambiguous, and since they are not quoted or names/policies/units/etc I do not agree that the deviation from source terminology is important here. This article is not copied and pasted from those sources, after all.
Do you attest that copying and selling not included in "unlicensed distribution?" Both senders and recipients participate in the distribution, as do both sellers and buys of commercial distribution. This alone strikes me as refutation of your second complaint. (talk) 23:26, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The origin of the term is wholly irrelevant here, since we are discussing a single interpretation in a particular context. In the context of home entertainment as described by the sources used by this article, "piracy" carries a meaning that is distinct from "unlicensed distribution" as you put it. It is Wikipedia's job to relay what the sources say, and departing from the industry standard terminology that the sources themselves use is original research. It is also worth noting that the US government bill introduced to combat piracy was called the Stop Online Piracy Act, not the "Stop Unauthorized Online Distribution Act". Betty Logan (talk) 23:34, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
The bill to combat terrorism in the US was called the PATRIOT act. I would never hold up a legislative bill acronym as evidence of correct use of terminology :) (talk) 23:46, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi, I'm Howicus, a volunteer at WP:3O, where one of you two posted this dispute. I'd have to agree with Betty Logan here. It doesn't matter if "piracy" was defined differently in the past. All that matters is how reliable sources use the term today. Howicus (talk) 03:36, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Point of note, no one here (at least one must assume until told otherwise, as is required of any other factual statement around here) asked any of these publishers what they meant by "piracy."
You could ask a large percentage of the low-income USA what "healthcare" was, and they would recite a definition for health INSURANCE. I wonder if people would be willing to concede that particular term's separate meaning, just to "reflect the source" when common knowledge indicates the source meant something else. Frog (talk) 04:12, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
p.s. According to our article on the Patriot Act, the "T" in patriot stands for "Terrorism". Just FYI. Howicus (talk) 03:36, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Piracy is certainly the word I would use in the context here. There are enough UK and international references to the piracy for international copying and counterfeiting of a range of products, not just the copying of films. There are a range of other terms that can be used (including counterfeiting etc), but piracy is as valid as any other. - SchroCat (talk) 07:58, 30 June 2013 (UTC)


"Should we plan to release this confidential information at a later date?" The MPAA stands for `Major Players All Across' - A computer subculture phenomenon. [leet] The MPAU actually handles all information that the MPAA handles here. -- this entire article should read MPAU (Motion Picture Association United) {not on Wikipedia (tm) yet./?} where MPAA was mistaken somewhere during Betamax/Maxi~Reil convention, for MPAU. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a single word on blacklisting. Actually, I didn't see any criticism of this organization anywhere. I guess it was a positive thing to keep freedom of speech out of Hollywood. Sammy D III (talk) 19:31, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

The article is favorable to the MPAA—possibly written by someone affiliated to the organization—but I don't think there is any ulterior motives at work here in terms of actively keeping the material out. I think the blacklisting is an important part of Hollywood history and would certainly support inclusion of the MPAA's role. Betty Logan (talk) 19:49, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
I didn’t mean cover-up, just bias. Hollywood blacklist only has a passing reference, too. Still, it surprises me, lots of people have been here, I didn’t see that it had ever come up.
If I could, maybe I would. At least it’s been mentioned now, maybe someone will notice. Thank you for your time (and very fast reply). Sammy D III (talk) 23:54, 31 March 2014 (UTC)