As part of the MPAA's My Movie Muse initiative, which purports to cater to consumers by gathering information about their movie-going preferences and desires, a new questionaire conspicuously targets issues of copyright law, with a big business bias.
No surprise, really, since the My Movie Muse project is more about market research and consumer manipulation than it is about helping audiences. After a list of throwaway questions such as "what is your favorite movie" and "what is your favorite line of dialogue," the online survey gets down to the heart of the matter with the following questions:
"Do you agree with the concept that creative ideas like a story or a song or a photograph are a person's property the same way that a backpack or a car or furniture are a person's property?"
"Do you think the concept of ownership is relevant to anything that you have personally created such as a book or a picture or a song?"
"How would you feel if you painted a picture and found out someone was selling copies of it on EBay and making money off it?"
"Do you think someone who has invested time and money into a creative work - like writing a play or research - deserves to be compensated for that work?"
The leading questions are clearly part of a larger MPAA struggle to bolster copyright initiatives and crack down on fair use, file sharing and anything that theatens the bottom line of the international conglomerates. Dan Glickman may be the kinder, gentler face of the MPAA in the wake of Jack Valenti's exit, but if his demeanor is softer, his goals are still just as nefarious.
To petition the MPAA about its ratings procedures or anything else, click on the link.