The file you seek was made using AE version 5.5. According to your post, you are running AE version 18.104.22.168, and you are not able to open it. I would search for an alternate pixie dust tutorial. There musst be comething like it on videocopilot.
Probably the biggest trick to copy and paste a mask path to a position path is to use keyframes. What I mean by that select the mask path you want to turn in to a motion path and set a keyframe. Select the keyframe in the timeline window then pick the motion path property you want to use and set a keyframe for that property. This could be position or in the case of the Pixie Dust tutorial you referenced it would be the position of Force 1 in shatter. Set that keyframe and then paste. AE will now add keyframes for that path. It works every time.
To recap the Pixie Dust example this is the simple recipe:
Add a new solid to your comp (comp size).
Draw an open mask path on the solid using the pen tool.
Press the M key to reveal the mask property, set a key frame and copy it using Ctrl/Cmnd + C or Edit>Copy
Add Effect>Generate>Stroke to the solid
Select 2 for the width, set the color, and then select paint style = On Transparent
Now add Effect>Simulation>Shatter to the project.
Set View = Rendered
Render = Pieces
Shape = Rhombi or Triangles
Repetitions = 200
Set a keyframe for Force 1 and paste using Ctrl/Cmnd + V or Edit>Paste
Set Force 1 to a position of 0 and a size of .01 and a strength of 2
Now add Colorama and Glow or Shine or Blur and you're done.
You can get a different look by turning off or not using stroke. EZ as pie.
Ahh! Now I see what I was doing wrong. I was keyframing the position for Force1 and trying to paste the path (with no keyframes ) onto that position keyframe. Leave it to me to do things backwards.
Thanks so much Rick! You rock!