MPAA head Chris Dodd backtracked on the association's stance on piracy in comments made to Variety over the weekend:
"We're in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that's going to need content… We're going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented… We're on the wrong track if we describe it as thievery."
While he didn't say it's not a crime, Dodd's words are quite the reversal from the organization's official policy. The MPAA has been pretty hell-bent on making piracy synonymous with theft for many years. Just look at its "you wouldn't steal a car" campaign.
We can only hope that Dodd's words signals a shift in the way piracy is treated in the eyes of the law. There should be nuances — someone who is downloading a movie to watch on their own shouldn't be pursued in the same way as a person that is ripping a movie and turning around and selling it for a profit. At this point, Dodd's statements are a definite change in rhetoric for an agency that will hang people out to dry for illegal downloading. [Variety via TechDirt via Geekosystem]