Oh, MPAA, can't you go at least one month without making a fool of yourself somehow? It's stories like this that make sure no one takes anything you say or do seriously.
The MPAA has threatened to chop off Google's Internet access. Yes, you read that correctly. TorrentFreak has the in-depth explanation of the MPAA's latest facepalm, but here's the short version:
Every month the MPAA sends out wave after wave of copyright infringement notices to people accused of having illegally downloaded a movie. In practice, these are simple intimidation tactics notifying the accused that they were caught downloading a certain film and that, basically, unless they stop, the MPAA will make sure the criminal's ISP disconnects them from the Internet. And if you're Joe Schmo sailing the high seas of movie piracy, such warnings might make you reconsider whether or not a free copy of 'The Expendables' really is worth it.
The problem with this method is that the for-profit legal organizations that the MPAA hires to send out these automated warnings don't do any research on the accused, they simply send out the notices en masse. (In the past this has resulted in old ladies who barely know how to use email being accused of multi-million-dollar copyright infringement.) So when some of Google's IP addresses showed up in their piracy databases, the MPAA simply didn't know any better and told one of the largest Internet companies in the world that they would disconnect them from the Internet if they didn't give in to their demands.
Now, by bringing this up we are in no way belittling how rampant of a problem movie piracy is in the industry. Perhaps employees of Google were in fact breaking the law and downloading movies on company computers, that's certainly a possibility. But this latest revelation is just further evidence that the MPAA has no real clue how to prevent movie piracy. Their broad tactics continue to result in farcical scenarios that only embarrass their efforts. Moments like this could simply be avoided if the MPAA used actual human beings to process its accusations on a case-by-case basis instead of just throwing out infringement notices like so much half-cooked spaghetti and hoping that at least some of their noodles stick.