The MPAA's lobbying activity has been widely published, with the industry group spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every quarter trying to get Washington to act on their demands. What is perhaps a bit more surprising is the fact that not only does the MPAA lobby politicians, they also directly lobby law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The MPAA's total spend for the first quarter of 2011 was $400,000, up 17% compared to the quarter before.
Amongst the lobbied law enforcement agencies, ICE has been the most active when it comes to providing the MPAA it's money's worth in what some critics are calling a "private police force". ICE has seized hundreds of domain names as part of its Operation In Our Sites, and even went as far going to the UK to apply for extradition of a 23 year old British student, accused of running a website that had linked to other websites that may have contained copyrighted content.
The lobbying disclosure report also shows the MPAA lobbying the government to take action on "rogue sites", listing RapidShare as one such site for being a notorious piracy source. Other major points of lobbying include graduated response (of which the recent lobbying efforts seems to have paid off), making media streaming a felony offense (and possibly 5 years jail for embedding YouTube videos, unsurprisingly, this has also made progress in the US Senate), and more domain seizures, of which by the best estimations, have had little or no effect on stopping piracy.
Vice President Joe Biden, a long time supporter of the copyright lobby, was also the target of lobbying in the same quarter.
Do you think that private business should be lobbying law enforcement agencies directly, and do you think this is Hollywood's way of turning these agencies into their private police force? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread: