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anti-piracy efforts continue to cost us

While it doesn't necessarily mean that combatting the "piracy" of films is a bad idea, the Motion Picture Association of America's recent efforts demonstrate that we ought to weigh the value of stopping piracy against the costs.

And there are costs. For example, independent films could be locked out of contention for Academy Awards, and for the crucial post-awards publicity that follows. Given that the major studios have shown more interest in sequels than in risky and creative new material, the film-going public ought to be wary of any proposals that would make it harder for independent films to find wide release.

The problem boils down, unsurprisingly, to this: intellectual property rights were designed to benefit the PUBLIC by encouraging the "authors" of creative works to take risks. Are they still valuable when they benefit corporate entities who are often "authors" in name only, and whose behavior may retard the creativity that the rights were designed to encourage?

Don't let the corporate schtick confuse you. This whole debate is about how to benefit artists, inventors, and the public.