The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been accused of breaking its own rules and making illegal copies of a film.
The film examines the role of the MPAA in deciding classifications for films containing scenes of sex and violence, and investigates whether it treats independent films unfairly.
Kirby Dick, the film's maker, submitted the film in November and said that the MPAA's lawyer admitted to copying the DVD. He has now filed a suit to recover all copies of the film and to determine who ordered the illegal actions.
Kori Bernards, the MPAA's vice president for corporate communications, told the Los Angeles Times: "We made a copy of Kirby's movie because it had implications for our employees."
Bernards also claimed that Dick spied on members of the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration, including going through their dustbins and following them as they drove their children to school.
"We were concerned about the raters and their families," she said, adding that the MPAA's copy of This Film Is Not Yet Rated is "locked away" and is not being copied or distributed.
But this action appears to run against the official line on the organisation's website which states: "Piracy is a serious federal offence. There are several forms of piracy including internet piracy, DVD copying, illegal sales and theatrical camcording. All forms of piracy are illegal and carry serious legal consequences."
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