The Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) has adopted a new strategy to combat online piracy. Recently it has hired the services of law and lobbying group, Becker & Poliakoff, to represent its interests in D.C.
The law firm has noted in lobbying registration documents that it intends to focus on ‘streaming piracy devices and applications’ alongside the ‘economic impact of film industry production’ in its lobbying efforts with lawmakers. It is anticipated that the discussions will include potential impacts of streaming devices and mobile apps, with the intent to adjust copyright laws against services that stream copyright infringing works.
This could have a significant impact on the music industry. While streaming revenue has increased dramatically across the board over the last year, stream ripping devices and apps are a continual threat. In particular, perhaps the biggest threat involves the variety of sites and apps that allow the downloading of YouTube videos and audio, often bypassing ads.
If the MPAA successfully lobbies politicians against illicit streaming, the RIAA would have a stronger legal position against stream rippers. Simultaneously, to this date YouTube has not made significant changes to its algorithm to prohibit these apps and services–until it does, consistent enforcement would nonetheless prove difficult. For now, MPAA lobbying efforts may provide a much larger opening for the RIAA to crack down.