January 24, 2006 | By Fred von Lohmann

MPAA: Copying Movies OK for Our Families, Not Yours

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) made unauthorized copies of a new documentary, This Film Not Yet Rated, that is critical of the organization.

The copies were apparently made when the film was submitted for an MPAA rating. The film got an NC-17, a somewhat ironic outcome for a film that exposes the unfairness of the MPAA ratings system.

The MPAA made the copies because they "were concerned about the raters and their families," according to Kori Bernards, the MPAA's vice president for corporate communications. The identities of the MPAA ratings board have been a closely guarded secret, at least until This Film Not Yet Rated did some amateur detective work to sniff them out. Now that the word is out, the MPAA apparently is afraid for "their families"?

So copying movies is OK when it's done to protect the families of the MPAA ratings board, but not OK when it's done to protect the families of movie fans. After all, the MPAA and its members have said it's "theft" and "piracy" for you to copy your own DVDs, whether to make a back-up copy to protect your DVDs from being scratched by your toddler, to edit out the annoying, unskippable commercials that open many DVDs, or to skip strong language, nudity, and violence that you think is inappropriate for your family.

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