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Ex-democrat threatens his former Senate colleague

"Don't take us for granted."

That was the message the former Democrat Senator from Connecticut Chris Dodd sent his old Senate colleague -- and now President -- Barack Obama on Thursday in an exclusive Fox News interview.  

I. MPAA Threatens SOPA opposers

But Mr. Dodd, now CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, didn't stop there.  He went on to threaten his former Congressional colleagues -- both Republican and Democrat -- who together formed the bipartisan resistance that sunk the House's "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and Senate's "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA) (S.968).

Obama flag
U.S. President Barack Obama [Image Source: SFGate]

He comments, "Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake.  Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Despite seeing record profits, driven by a 35 percent rise in Blu Ray movie sales Chris Dodd and the MPAA insist that the movie industry is in dire trouble due to piracy.  He points to Avatar being stolen 21 million times as one example of piracy's decimating blow to the movie industry.  Of course he purposefully fails to note that Avatar made almost $3B USD at the box office worldwide.

He does his best to argue for Orwellian laws like SOPA, by trying to recharacterize the issue as a matter of little guys getting exploited, "You can complain and say, well, actors make a lot of money and they don't have to worry about this.  You tell that to that camera guy, you tell that to that makeup artist, you tell that to that truck driver out there who made, makes a living because they work in this industry."

Chris Dodd
MPAA's corpulent CEO Chris Dodd
[Image Source: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom]

Chris Dodd ran against President Obama in 2008, but lost.  Afterwards he turned to a new career in lobbying, quickly securing his high-paying job as MPAA chief.

II. Editorial Take: Bribery is the Staus Quo in D.C. Today

A CEO threatening the U.S. President and Congress is a pretty bold move, and it is indicative of the sordid web of bribery that Washington D.C. has found itself in.  These days it's hard to get anything done at the federal level without a heavy lubricating layer of lobbyists bribes.

The big Hollywood CEO picks an inopportune time to attack President Obama, given that  members of Hollywood's elite -- top actors and companies -- have already given him $4.1M USD -- more than the $3.7M USD they gave to his campaign in 2008.  And the decision by the administration to break its silence and side with tech firms like Google Inc. (GOOG) in opposing SOPA, is expected to draw more lobbyist bribes from these top tech firms.

The conflict between Google, et al. and the MPAA, et al. in lobbyist dollars is illustrative of the unseemingly current nature of federal politics.  Today corporations and special interest groups essentially "own" pieces of the federal government.  

Bribe under table
These days it's hard to get anything done in D.C. without a bribe. [Image Source: i-Sight]

When their interests are independent or in line with each other they see their desired goals -- like millions in tax breaks -- easily passed, hidden as line item additions to bloated pieces of legislation.  But when their interests run counter to each other, they're forced to wage a war of bribes.

At the same time the U.S. people and small business owners are largely left out of the process, while there relatively high tax burden is funneled towards companies that have "bribed the best" on the Hill.  A recent study by the University of Kansas School of Business reveals that for ever $1 USD spent in lobbyist contributions, a corporation receives $222 USD in tax breaks.  The bill for those tax breaks is inevitably passed to the usual suspect -- the American taxpayer.

Sources: Fox News, NPR [$1 lobbyist = $222 tax breaks]



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By tecknurd on 1/24/2012 2:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Everyone knows priacy is a crime so trying to rationalize it is futile. SOPA will be rewritten and passed to reduce the infringement for copyright holders - as it should be. There is no God given right to someone else' artistic works. if you want it, you must pay for it like any other good or service.

Yes piracy is a very big problem. Yes, SOPA and PIPA will be rewritten and try pass these bills in February. The ongoing fight against SOPA and PIPA will not be stop from people. The people stated that SOPA and PIPA is not the answer to the problem of piracy because these bills goes against the constitution and the bill of rights. People do understand that piracy is wrong, but what is happening right now is watching a movie, listening to music, and installing applications is not easy anymore even though people bought the product. The people that bought a movie, music, or application sometimes have to resort to piracy in order for them to use their bought product easier. A pirate movie does not bring the problems of DRM and HDCP that affects the quality of the movie if the pieces in the path from player to TV is not up to specifications. Watching a movie requires the watchers to have their Internet be up, but in some areas people do not have the Internet to benefit the high quality definition of a Blu-Ray movies. Shame on MPAA to pushing these complications in order to watch a movie that people have legally bought. Shame on RIAA to enforce to put DRM on music CD. Shame on software companies to bury protection programs on installation discs.

The amount of software and movies that I have bought in a decade is only a handful. This is because I have to build up the patients to install or watch movies that have protections. There are problems with installing software. The disc either does get read or it stops half way through installation. Sometimes the drive does not read the disc correctly, so the program does not get run. DVD and Blu-Ray discs may include some bad sectors that may create a slight pause or a skip while watching the movie. This is just not right.

I feel companies have taken the responsibility that people once had when they bought the software, movie, and music. In the place of responsibility, companies are stating every person that buys the product as criminals.


"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)














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