Print 40 comment(s) - last by cmdrdredd.. on Apr 9 at 9:48 PM

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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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.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings

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