For decades the entertainment industry used the word “theft” to refer to piracy.
Most famous is probably the “You Wouldn’t Steal a Car” ad. But virtually all press releases of outfits such as the MPAA refer to stealing or theft.
All of a sudden, however, MPAA boss Chris Dodd is whistling a different tune.
After the SOPA revolt earlier this year the movie industry group realized they have to position themselves better.
“We’re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented,” Dodd says.
“We’re on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery.”
Technically MPAA’s boss doesn’t say that piracy isn’t theft, but just that it’s bad PR to keep using the term.
The real problem with the theft metaphor is that it’s not only inaccurate, but also widening the gap between people’s norms and copyright law.