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MPAA chief says technology firms and big media need to reach an "understanding"

It was a curious juxtaposition.  After seeing many of his top donors -- notably big media and tech giants like Google Inc. (GOOG) -- at odds over Congressional punitive proposals of copyright enforcement, President Obama's administration threw its weight behind sinking the Orwellian "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261).  In the end, it left copyright watchdogs like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) coming up empty after pouring out nearly 10 percent of active Senators election costs.

In a post-mortem interview about SOPA, the MPAA's new chief, ex-Democratic Senator Chris Dodd seemed to threaten President Obama for appearing to join the push against SOPA.  But that warning seemed a bit suspicious, given the record $4.1M USD members of Hollywood's elite -- top actors and companies -- had given U.S. President Barack Obama in his reelection bid.  Whether MPAA chief Dodd and the President were truly enemies was further called into question when the President approved the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an executive order that many saw as a way of sneaking in SOPA-like permissions without Congressional approval.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Sen. Dodd drops former hints that his former colleague might really be on board with the MPAA and RIAA's goals, and that his former rhetoric might have merely been a clever bit of social engineering designed to divert public vehemence over SOPA away from his close ally President Obama.

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

In the interview Sen. Dodd says that he is "confident" that Obama is working to bring technology firms on board with a SOPA-like proposal.  The interviewer asks, "What is the status of the Stop Online Piracy Act?...Are there conversations going on now?"

He first responds, "I'm confident that's the case, but I'm not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive."

But when asked about the President, he unexpectedly cites him as a supporter in such efforts, stating, "I'm not going to revisit the events of last winter. I'll only say to you that I'm confident [Obama is] using his good relationships in both communities [tech, big media] to do exactly what you and I have been talking about."

Obama flag
U.S. President Barack Obama [Image Source: SFGate]
The optimism echoes that of the RIAA's CEO Cary Sherman who in a New York Times opinion piece mocked the SOPA protests as "demagoguery", not "democracy".  In the piece Mr. Sherman expressed hopes of a SOPA revival, stating that he believed the public's outrage was a "one time" performance.

Indeed, it is feasible to think that Congress could bea bit more subtle in terms of slipping SOPA-like provisions into other bills, rather than bundling them together into one easy target for opponents.  Likewise, if such efforts were sweetened by offers of money for tech companies -- from either the big media themselves, or by government supplied tax breaks -- they could get behind the idea.  In fact, telecoms have recently bit at precisely such a scheme (media providing the cost of enforcement), when offered.

So will the RIAA and MPAA get there way?  We won't know for some time.  But former Senator Chris Dodd is confident they will.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, New York Times

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By andromeda05 on 4/7/2012 1:24:02 AM , Rating: 5
i relly hope the US votes vote this guy out he's starting to adopt policy that not only screws with the US but the rest of the world.

ex: the US can no longer buy or sell weapons from most countries and Canada is one them.

RE: Obama
By ionicbluebird on 4/7/2012 4:14:42 AM , Rating: 5
And vote in who though? I find it unlikely that anyone but a democrat or a republican will be voted in, and they are basically two hands attached to the same body if you will. Pessimistically speaking.

RE: Obama
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2012 8:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Oh come off that please. Republicans aren't perfect, but there's no way they would lead us down the road Obama has at the rate of Mach 3.

The only party even attempting to listen to the people right now are the Republicans. For that reason ALONE you should support them in the election. Tell me that Obama and his Administration aren't directly ruling against the people of this country.

If you want to give this disaster another 4 years, you had better come up with a better reason than that. Tell me about all the great things he's done that shows he deserves another term.

RE: Obama
By TSS on 4/7/2012 10:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
Repulicans listening to the people? Really? That's so crazy, i'm inclined to belive you.

I do wonder though, in what way do they listen to the people that obama does not? And tax cuts don't count, Obama cut taxes as well.

RE: Obama
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2012 11:12:57 AM , Rating: 1
Right lets pretend that the majority of Americans want Obamacare shall we?

How about the budget. Do the majority of Americans want this level of spending?

Sorry but Republicans obviously represent more Americans than Democrats do on more issues. Only a lunatic could see otherwise. Maybe you should take a look at Obama and Congresses (real) approval ratings. Can we say nuff said?

RE: Obama
By lyeoh on 4/7/2012 2:44:34 PM , Rating: 5
If you're worried about healthcare spending, you're probably already paying for it. You're just getting poor value for your money.

Guess who pays for the poor people sitting in ER till their turn or they become sick enough to get priority? It's not the poor people, they have no money. You pay. Via taxes, via higher medical fees, via more hospitals closing down their ERs, via remaining ERs getting overloaded.

Whether Obamacare is a good way of fixing it I don't know. I don't live in the USA, so it doesn't really affect me. But you bunch ALREADY spend huge amounts on healthcare and aren't getting good value for it.

The USA's healthcare (and government ;) ) is the best that money can buy. If you're rich it's very good. But most US citizens and residents aren't rich enough.

RE: Obama
By dark matter on 4/8/12, Rating: -1
RE: Obama
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: Obama
By Norseman4 on 4/8/2012 5:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
How about the budget. Do the majority of Americans want this level of spending?

Budget? The Senate hasn't passed a budget for a very long time. (Jan 24 marked 1000 days, and one hasn't been passed since then.) Spending resolutions and trillion dollar wastes have been passed, but no budget.

If these lawyers and congressional law professors tried to run a business this way, they would have been out of business faster than Solyndra.

RE: Obama
By nolisi on 4/9/2012 11:27:30 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry but Republicans obviously represent more Americans than Democrats do on more issues. Only a lunatic could see otherwise.

....and that's why a Republican President is currently in office. Oh, wait...

I think I'm gonna go with...wait for it... nuff said.

RE: Obama
By cmdrdredd on 4/9/2012 9:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
....and that's why a Republican President is currently in office. Oh, wait... I think I'm gonna go with...wait for it... nuff said.

Cause the Republican party didn't pay people to vote multiple times and have dead people vote.

RE: Obama
By dark matter on 4/8/2012 4:59:24 AM , Rating: 4
None the political parties will do what the people want.

You're an idiot if you believe ANY of them care about anything other than power.

RE: Obama
By sweatshopking on 4/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: Obama
By icemansims on 4/8/2012 1:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting, of course, that it was the DEMOCRATIC PARTY which defeated SOPA, not the REPUBLICAN party, which supported it. Keep trying, hoss.

RE: Obama
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2012 9:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I'm sorry so now Chris Dodd was a Republican? And Obama is? SOPA was supported by both Democrats and Republicans. And if Dodd is accurate, Obama is working to revive it in the shadows. Like most of his controversial legislation.

RE: Obama
By nolisi on 4/9/2012 11:24:40 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I'm sorry so now Chris Dodd was a Republican?

Chris Dodd is obviously in the pocket of the highest bidder. You've heard of RINOs, right? Why do you ignore the existence of DINOs? Are you a creationist? (horrible joke, I know)

And if Dodd is accurate, Obama is working to revive it in the shadows.

Hmm, presenting supposition in a manner that plants the idea and leaves the argument with the implication that it's likely true. If I'm accurate, you're only in favor of Dodd's statement because it would be a critique of the President and are wholly uninterested in facts. And if I'm not mistaken, this is a tactic often employed by a particular Newscorp subsidiary, and that you, Dodd, and the aforementioned subsidiary have a lot in common.

RE: Obama
By geddarkstorm on 4/9/2012 12:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a leap that this stuff would be worked on in the shadows, NAFTA was after all, and that had massive effects. And of course ACTA was worked on in the shadows away from the public by -several nations together-.

Shady business is the norm, doesn't even require supposition. Thankfully, it has to see the light of day before passing into law, and that gives us a chance to oppose it if when it does.

RE: Obama
By Focher on 4/9/2012 12:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see what Republicans have given us just in the last 2 years. Pass anti-abortion legislation, attack collective bargaining and unions, try to get rid of Medicare, cut Social Security, try to repeal Obamacare (which the majority Americans DO support - you just have to ask them about the actual things in it, not "Do you support Obamacare?"), rail against private insurance covering birth control, protect banks and investment firms from regulation, protect the richest people from returning to the tax rates under Reagan, pass voter ID laws which are intended to solve a problem which doesn't exist (voter fraud) but does disenfranchise minorities, and dredge up falsehoods about Obama's citizenship and religion.

I've got a whole list of issues about Obama's policies - most of which are the ones he continued from the idiot who came before him - but the idea I would vote for certifiably insane people that just went through the Republican primary is ludicrous.

RE: Obama
By KCjoker on 4/9/2012 5:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, the sad part is I think you actually believe that nonsense you wrote.

RE: Obama
By HrilL on 4/9/2012 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Both parties suck. Ron Paul is a good choice though. Big media already hates him as well.

RE: Obama
By gorehound on 4/7/2012 9:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately it is both Parties who support this type of garbage.
Reps and Dems sign on to SOPA/PIPA and these other obnoxious loss of Rights Bills.
What we really need is to get both of those Parties out and get New Ones in with better Values.

RE: Obama
By mcnabney on 4/7/2012 11:07:33 AM , Rating: 1
You are just mad because they are threatening your perceived right to 'steal' media that you want. Of course the MPAA/RIAA are lobbying Washington (both parties), passing favorable laws gets them paid. They like money. I suspect you do to? Just gut the authoritarian/privacy crap from SOPA, and provide better tools to deter piracy both domestically and abroad. While I agree that companies are overpricing their products, taking it unpaid because you claim some 'right' to it is just not right. If anyone could find a middle ground it is Obama. The GOP are the ones that put the anti-privacy stuff in there in the first place. Changing presidents will only make the next SOPA worse.

RE: Obama
By Alexvrb on 4/7/2012 10:28:50 PM , Rating: 1
Most of the Republican candidates came out swinging AGAINST SOPA (including Romney). Furthermore, most of the support for SOPA/PIPA comes from the Democrats - especially after the public outcry and protests. A lot of Congressmen quickly realized their constituents did not want this, and turned against it. But as a percentage, more Democrats stuck to their RIAA-funded SOPA/PIPA guns, even after the protests.

19:113 For/Against on Republican side
35:91 For/Against for the Democrats

Obama of course is deeply attached to Hollywood, so his support was a no brainer. Heck he unilaterally got a mini-SOPA (ACTA) in place via an executive order, and there's nothing you can do about it while he's in office.

RE: Obama
By Amedean on 4/8/2012 11:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the Republican candidates came out swinging AGAINST SOPA (including Romney).

Yes, only after massive online protests - afterall it was a Republican made bill.

But as a percentage, more Democrats stuck to their RIAA-funded SOPA/PIPA guns, even after the protests.

So what is the percentage hmmm....made it up? Also the RIAA funds both parties but one can speculate more Republicans in the House and more Democrats in the Senate. If you know how the law process works you will understand why.

So I hope you learned something here. By the way, I hope you come to terms with president Obama's next election win because the Republican lineup is pretty lousy.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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