The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), originally the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), was founded in 1922 and is designed to advance the business interests of its members. MPAA is a United States non-profit business Trade Organization and administers the voluntary, but dominant MPAA film rating system.
MPAA ratings carry no force of local, state, or federal law anywhere in the United States. They only serve as a consumer suggestion by a group of corporate analysts. After screening films, the selected viewers arrive at one of five ratings. Theater owners agree to enforce corporate film ratings as determined by the MPAA, which in turn facilitates their access to new film releases.
The primary MPAA ratings are G (general), PG (parental guidance suggested), PG-13 (parental guidance suggested under the age of 13), R (not suitable for children under 17/restricted), and NC-17 (minors are not admitted).
As part of its campaign to curb copyright infringement, the MPAA fights against sharing copyrighted works via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks. The MPAA’s anti-piracy campaign has gained much publicity and criticism.