MPAA fires back at Wikipedia’s Wales over online piracy

MPAA was a major backer of a pair of anti-piracy bills that were defeated earlier this year, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The trade association has argued that websites offering illegal copies of movies are harming the film industry’s bottom lines and putting the jobs of people who work behind the camera at risk.

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When responding to a question about how online piracy can be addressed, Wales told reporters Thursday that he had trouble accessing the latest season of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” at home in London even though he was willing to pay for it.

“I think that the media industry needs to say, 'Look, why don’t we sell people what they want to buy,’ and I think that will take care a huge proportion of the problem,” he said.

The anti-piracy bills fiercely divided the entertainment and tech industries. Wikipedia joined other sites in blacking out for a day to protest SOPA and PIPA, arguing the measures would encourage censorship on the Web.