The MPAA, or Motion Picture Association of America, has a lot of power when it comes to the world of entertainment. But not many people know much about it. Few people even know what it does. The MPAA is the organization that determines the ratings of movies in the US. However, they also have other responsibilities.

The MPAA is a trade organization that represents the film business. They’re best known the board made up of anonymous individuals. They created the letter-based ratings system that America knows so well, assigning G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 ratings to films. By showing the public that the movie business could handle its own standards and practices, the MPAA kept external regulators out.

Of course, the MPAA is not a legal body. Though it has prevented a resurgence of local censorship boards, the MPAA doesn’t really have any authority. Filmmakers aren’t required to submit their projects to the board for approval. Unrated films can save filmmakers money. It’s actually rather expensive to submit a movie to the MPAA for rating. Most commercial films are rated because it’s easier for a rated movie to be widely distributed.

The MPAA also has another, lesser-known but perhaps more important responsibility. They represent the film business in its fight against piracy. As the representative of the six biggest American movie studios, the MPAA sees peer to peer networks as a threat to their business model. By fighting peer to peer networks, the MPAA seeks to protect big business interests.

While consumers may see the MPAA’s emphasis on piracy as draconian, the organization sees itself as protecting jobs. As ticket sales fall and big studios merge, thousands of people have lost their jobs. These include good jobs in administrative, accounting and other roles at studios like Fo The industry’s argument is that if audiences want high-quality films, they must expect to pay to see them.

In order to protect the industry from piracy, the Motion Picture Association of America seeks help from law enforcement. The MPAA also lobbies Congress. Overall, the MPAA has been effective in its task of representing the film industry. By interfacing with filmmakers, lawmakers and the public, the MPAA manages a number of tricky relationships. It makes these difficult fights look easy.