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Posted 31 May 2002 04:19:37 UTC

In an apparent attempt to link the MPAA's actions on the Internet to the European invasions of the "Holy Land" in the 11th-13th centuries, the research company Viant released a report entitled "The Copyright Crusade II" about music and movie sharing online.

According to this report (which does not explain how its figures were calculated), there were approximately 10 million people who sought to download Star Wars: Episode II or Spider-Man during the weekend of May 9-12. Included in this number are, allegedly, 2.5 million IRC users, although Viant's graph appears only to show approximately one-third of this number.

According to Viant and a Hollywood Reporter story about the report, last year's report (entitled "The Copyright Crusade") was frequently quoted by the media industry. MPAA Chairman Jack Valenti cited the report in his testimony before Congress.

The report concludes by suggesting that movie studios and the music industry work to "co-opt piracy with legitimate services." In so doing, the authors of the report seem to be asking the industry to continue offering their horribly unpopular services which grant their users even fewer freedoms than those held in the analog world. Instead, as Viant's own report shows, the file-sharing formats which grant their users more freedoms seem to be the ones growing in popularity.

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