NBC: 'Movie piracy hurts corn farmers'
The company made the claim as part of a filing in which it encouraged the FCC, America's communications regulator to force internet service providers to implement blocks that would prevent their subscribers from downloading pirated content.
"Because of our nation’s interlocking economy, two-thirds of the lost earnings and lost jobs are in industries other than motion picture production," NBC Universal's filing said. "For example, in the absence of movie piracy, video retailers would sell and rent more titles. Movie theatres would sell more tickets and popcorn. Corn growers would earn greater profits and buy more farm equipment."
In rebuttal of the claims, Washington DC-based advocacy group Public Knowledge pointed to statistics showing higher corn futures and an annual consumption of "17 billion quarts of popcorn" in the US.