MPAA President (Sort Of) Tries To Make Peace Over SOPA

| 25 Feb 2012 00:05
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SOPA supporter and MPAA president Chris Dodd wants everyone to know that Hollywood doesn't really hate the internet, but the battle against piracy is going to continue.

MPAA President Chris Dodd hasn't won a lot of fans lately. This isn't all that surprising, since the guy was a big supporter of controversial bills the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. Once SOPA was killed - almost overnight after the very public Web blackout - the former politician wound up making some ominous comments about how Hollywood wouldn't donate money to Obama's re-election campaign. These didn't sit well with the general public, and Dodd became the target of a petition demanding a criminal investigation of him based on bribery charges. While the White House declined to pursue any action against the man, his reputation with the general public is pretty well shot. Now, Dodd is trying to make peace with people and claim that Hollywood really does love the Web and tech industries.

On Wednesday, Dodd was speaking at the Atlanta Press Club, where he stated that Hollywood is "pro-technology and pro-internet." However, exactly how the film industry is in favor these things isn't really apparent, because it seems that Dodd didn't really go into detail about this.

Instead, Dodd said that film groups were far from done fighting against piracy, going on to state that there needs to be a strong copyright protection in place for online content. He also claimed that nearly one-quarter of all global Internet traffic is copyright theft," although where he got this figure remains unclear. According to Dodd:

"We are not talking about overzealous film buffs or political activists making a statement about freedom of information. We are talking about criminals.

...

"We cannot draw up a business model that accounts for the wholesale theft of our product. It's true for pharmacies. It's true for the automobile industry. It's true for software developers. And it's true for us."

Honestly, Dodd's comments feel like he's trying to do damage control and explain away the entertainment industry's support of SOPA and PIPA. The problem is that he very publicly criticized opponents of the bills, going so far as to call the internet blackout last month "an abuse of power" by those sites involved. Basically, he's managed to (possibly irrevocably) harm both his and the MPAA's reputations with a large number of Web users.

Source: Reuters via GamePolitics

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To be fair, in his mind he really is just protecting his interests. When I am wronged, I often find it very easy to desire an immediate, knee-jerk response that may cause harmful side effects for unrelated parties. I imagine that's true for a lot of people.

To be certain, piracy does great harm to his industry. But the more money somebody loses to that (admittedly unfair) situation, the less capable that person is going to be of taking others' rights into account when determining the response. His camp needs to express the need for a solution, and somebody outside of that camp needs to draft it.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

So what should the Copyright Office be doing? MPAA et al. humbly suggest that the Office should be protecting the "ongoing viability of business models" that create "predictability with respect to how works will be accessed and how copyrighted software and technologies used to facilitate such access will be used and manipulated." You won't find that in any law, although it sounds a lot like the goals of the now-defunct SOPA and PIPA bills. Again, let's look behind the euphemisms: the entertainment lobbies want the U.S. government to protect their members' bottom lines by regulating how digital technologies can be used. Only uses that receive Hollywood's permission, and are "predictable," should pass muster.

Full article:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/what-does-it-mean-be-pro-technology-and-pro-internet

An "abuse of power"? So it's an abuse of power for a website to block their own site, when the point of this action was to emulate the very power the bill wishes to grant the government??

samsonguy920:
If this guy had the spine and brains he likes to claim he does, he would put himself in a room with one of his opponents and try to explain his reasons that way. And then see how well he does defending them in the debate.
But you know he won't, because he has nothing to back his claims short of imagined figures, and too much fear that the skeletons in his closet will get out in the light of day. He knows the MPAA has already crossed the line as far as copyright law on their own side, with their own blatant breaches as well as their stepping on fair use. If this were allowed to become a true forum for debate instead of attempts at steamrolling bills through Congress, people would very quickly discover that small-time piracy pales in the shadow of the MPAA's and the RIAA's own crimes.

Therumancer:
Snipped for space.

Yes, that is very true today as far as where China stands. The only solution to stop that, though, is for the US and other western countries to embargo goods from China. Any government leader who proposed that idea would swiftly get taken out of office by any conglomerate of corporations who are making money hand over fist because of their outsourcing to China of manufacturing and shipping. India is benefiting just as much because of that.
Part of the issue with that is the US, among others, is swiftly going to a sole service-oriented industry. People don't want to have to break a sweat working in a factory line all day. They want an easy cubicle or counter job and then hit the fast food and super-department stores after for their shiny gadgets and food that they don't care where is from. And then go home to their internet and digital satellite/cable to finish their day.
If you need an example of why this is true, then you need only look to Detroit and ask why that city is a wasteland. People complain about illegal immigration and yet they don't step forward to work the jobs that the immigrants are more than willing to take on, regardless of how long those citizens have been out of work and living on welfare.
Don't blame China for destroying our economy or being the worst player in the piracy affair. China is merely filling a niche that we see fit to open up with our demands of more entertainment, more bling, more techy gadgets, and all of it cheaper. I think that merely falls into the category of good business.
And China isn't so eager for war, as they have too many economical allies who would be alienated by that. It has come to a point today where a world war would destroy so much that corporations would do anything they can to prevent it. Instead smaller wars such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and such are encouraged to create certain needs as well as burn off steam that would otherwise build up until too many countries ended up involved. It is true that China has the largest army in the world, but it isn't the best trained army, and most of it would be used as cannon fodder in any exchange.
Shortly before William of Normandy took over England, King AlfredHarold Godwinson was dealing with a viking invasion with its own aims to take over the isle. In one key battle, the viking army sent one man to hold a bridge which stood between them and AlfredHarold's considerable army. That one man took down over a hundred of AlfredHarold's soldiers before he finally fell himself, giving the Saxon king's army passage over the bridge to deal with the viking army. The vikings fell, but not before making Alfred pay a high price for the victory. This was a major factor that led to the Saxon King AlfredHarold losing the battle against the Norman William. When William made his bid to take over England, he did it with a smaller contingent of troops than what AlfredHarold had. But through poor policy decisions and not enough funding to military training, AlfredHarold Godwinson put himself at a position to lose long before the vikings even invaded.
China does have the largest army, yes. But they don't have the best training, nor ideal facilities for their soldiers. They are also focused on improving their economic ties to build their trading and manufacturing, which takes money away from their military budget. That is something that can not change overnight.
I don't worry so much about China. What I worry more about is the apathy and avarice the West builds upon to the point where things such as intellectual property are more important than human and civil rights. And we only have ourselves to blame.

Hmm, some trouble snipping that so sorry about the uber-quote

As far as the issue with the MPAA, and RIAA goes, your correct to a great degree. The current system DOES present a problem in that it heavily favors corperate interests and those with the money to pursue things on a political and legal level. The old crack about how "I can't afford a lobbyist" very much holds true in this sector as well as politics in general.

However it's a hard issue to fix because things like theft DO need regulation, and the criminals who present a problem are ALWAYS going to outnumber the businessmen, before you even get into the ordinary people and their interests who vastly outnumber both. It's like the old jibe that "all the mice vote to bell the cat" which pretty much summarizes the problem with representation by the numbers and why the US isn't a true democracy. If the businessmen WERE forced onto a truely level playing field, it would destroy everything as they would be outnumbered by people who would of course support being able to take everything for themselves for free, and we really can't have business where that becomes true.

The problem is in finding a way to weight things so that businesses are protected, but also can't exploit the system for their own continued profit, as opposed to simply using it defensively.

In short I don't think an "open forum" as you present it would work, because these guys would get ripped to shreds, and while the individuals in question might deserve it there are bigger issues at stake.

Ultimatly I tend to feel that the solution isn't really one to be gained through the system, but in changing how it works through some rather clare declarations. I'm of the opinion that what we need is something akin to a bill of rights for consumers, that includes things like the right to own the property they pay for, and puts an end to all of this EULA-liscencing garbage and forces a lot more responsibility onto the companies in providing value in the digital age. Something they oppose for profit oriented reasons, and can prevent through the system which is why it needs to be stopped, even if the system isn't inherantly bad. We basically need updates and limitations, not a rule by the mob (which is what it sounds like your advocating).

I'm pretty much opposed to the industry and their attitudes involving the rights of consumers, but at the same time I do feel piracy is wrong, and don't think legalizing media piracy, which is wha happens if you go entirely the other way, is the right direction to go in, and that's what you'd happen if things were truely balanced given the numbers on both sides. People will always vote to give themselves what benefits them right now, the long term, and repercussions, be damned.

-

As far as China goes I disagree with you because of the demand for their products, China has enough of a market througout the world, and enough demand for their product, that embargos are going to be pointless unless backed by the military in the sense of destroying every trade ship or plane that leaves China, which starts a war anyway.

In general Embargos only work when your dealing with a small, weak country with limited options. China is none of those things at this stage in the game. Decades ago that might have worked, but decades ago we also felt that the current arrangement with them was going to wind up reforming their society.

The whole "golden age of piracy" with major nations hiring privateers and mercenaries to raid each other's shipping was basically the result of powerful nations basically trying to embargo each other and control trade and the flow of goods on their terms.

You vastly underestimate the rising power of the Chinese military which is why things are time sensitive. They are already producing submarines powerful enough to compete with ours, having done things like tagging a US submarine (look up the Kittyhawke incident, and Chinese Yuan Class submarine). This is why it would be a big deal since they would defend their shipping.

Right now we have an advantage on China and could win, which is why I am so aggressive, but time plays to them, and we'll lose all tha advantages we have now and ultimatly will wind up being unable to beat them.

Your points about relative power don't consider that things won't stay static forever, and the idea is to attack when we can stll be assured we're going to win.

As far as their plans go, you are incorrect, even if that is the popular version of things. Basically we hoped that by ignoring China's patent thefts and such and letting them "loan" us money to cover lost tax revenues that what your talking about would happen. Wealth would trickle down to the lower classes, who would become more capable, and demand more, the sweatshops would no longer be viable, and China would play by the rules as it began to innovate products it would want protected.

In reality what happened was China decided to take that money, feed it into their military, and crack down on the population to keep the sweatshops and patent thefts going so it could make more money for the military. When it comes to really looking at the Chinese in the sense of "we need to actually do something" people tend to forget about conditions down there, how SARS got started, or the Chinese military build ups. That's the problem with the whole "peace at any price" movement. As soon as it comes to identifying a threat and taking action people want to portray the other side as a bunch of progressive economists... which is hardly the case.

I've done a lot of reading on China for a long time, and didn't start going off about these extreme actions for no reason. There is tons of information out there about them blinding US satellites with ground based missle systems, increasing their abillity to project their military power, developing a military space program, and wanting to colonize other countries to spread out it's population. While covered in the mainstream media it's rarely mentioned for long, but you can find all of it if you look (and I've presented a number of links though various messages, over the years... and you can find a lot of suff on your own with some quick digging for things like "Chinese Anti-Satellite Lasers", "Yuan Class Submarine", "Chinese Kitty Hawke incident", "China's Theft Of US Missle Guidance Systems", and tons of other stuff). Heck, one of the big incidents BEFORE 9/11 was how China was engaged in air piracy, it basically intercepted a US military plane over international waters, forced it to land in China, and then proceeded to go digging through it for technology. They freed the hostages, and we claim they didn't get any tech, but if checking a few years later you'll notice China's airforce seems to be producing some substnaitally more effective aeronautic systems.

See if the US wasn't so bloody moral and peaceful, we'd have already gone to war with China, they have done like a dozen things which would be an act of war for just about any other country. The fact that we keep turning the other cheek is exactly why they keep pushing, and one of the big reasons why the US has such problems internationally and is losing so much force. Nobody is afraid of the dominant military power if it's afraid to use it's military. Politically correct police actions like "The War On Terror" don't scare major nations, when they see nations like China getting away with bending you over, and not even being polite enough to get some lube.

I understand where your coming from, and why you think what you do, I just happen to think your wrong. We're beyond the point of an embargo, all that would do, even if coordinated, would be another "do nothing" solution intended to avoid the bottom line.

People need to understand that the old analysis of "meh the money we owe China doesn't matter because they could never collect, and it was all buying us off anyway and they respect that" and "Well China has a huge military, but it doesn't have the navy to project that military and get it anywhere outside of their borders" and worse yet the idea that China doesn't have much in the way of military tech at all when it's producing stuff as good as ours even if it doesn't have a lot of it yet (using technology they stole from us largely).

I know we'll wind up having to agree to disagree, but I think people need to face reality. Sadly it will probably come too late because it's a very ugly reality that winds up running counter to everything we want to believe about how the world can work, and the complete failure of left wing morality on international relations.

BlackStar42:

samsonguy920:
le epic snip

Just so you know, that king was Harold Godwinson, not Alfred.

Anyway, if this idiot thinks the internet forgives and forgets that easily, he's in for the shock of his life.

Thanks for the heads up, I corrected my error. Teach me for trying to bring up some history at 3 in the morning.

uncanny474:
I will say this--I'm glad nobody's falling for his bullshit. I don't think I've seen one person stick up for what he thinks as "right".

I'll support Anti-Piracy when you give intellectual rights to the content creators. Until then, I try not to curse on the Escapist forums, but I really have nothing to say than fuck you.

The MPAA and the RIAA have been doing IP rights to the creators since long before the internet was known as an electronic bulletin board. I wouldn't expect that to change anytime, at all. At least not until the content creators get their heads out of their butts and get or stay away from either organization. True, it would make things harder for them, but it won't be illegal and they would get more of the credit that they deserve.

I will say this--I'm glad nobody's falling for his bullshit. I don't think I've seen one person stick up for what he thinks as "right".

I'll support Anti-Piracy when you give intellectual rights to the content creators. Until then, I try not to curse on the Escapist forums, but I really have nothing to say than fuck you.

No, Mr. Dodd, you can't just say you're sorry and expect genuine forgiveness. For one, you have to actually BE sorry, and I sincerely doubt you are capable of understanding anything more than a strict dictionary definition of that.

Honestly, I don't believe for one moment that you're sorry in the fucking slightest. The actions the MPAA and RIAA have taken in the course of my lifetime and before are appalling and speak to the true nature of the corrupt businesses whom you actually represent.
"Actions speak louder than words", as it were.

Your bills and lobbying attempted a coup over some of my constitutional freedoms solely for the purpose of market control; to ensure further, effortless profit for an already incredibly-profitable elite few.

Were it done by any other process, I'd call your maligned agenda treasonous at heart.
It's people like you who prove that we need limits; but a different kind of limit than the cartel-enabling legal farce your organizations backed under the pretense of "protecting artists".

</rant>

Wow this really suprised me. I was certain he tried to shut down the whole or atleast half of the internet, but no, he only wanted to shut down a quarter.

this man will kill all i love to make some money... up him man, up him

"MPAA's reputations"

They don't have one to ruin, haven't for many years. :P

As usual, it is apt to take anything an unethical former Senator - at the helm of the housing collapse and directed government funds to home state banks to save his house mortgages - with a grain of salt. If this man was still Senator instead of retire he would have been investigated for money laundering and could have gone to jail (on second thought, doubtful considering our Attorney General oversaw the distribution of automatic weapons to Mexico resulting in over 200 citizen deaths, so... nice fraternity you've got there).

Honestly the elites just shuffle the board once they warm out their welcome in one seat of power, only to get another. It's incestuous.

What? from the guy who said "Obama pro-people's right? No Hollywood money for you..." who's sin is so rooted, dishonoring/disgracing/humiliating the current politician (saying this because I still believe that POLITICIANS STILL WORKS FOR US). The ONLY WAY he could earn his honor back was to publicly "Sebuku" and while doing so repeating "i'm sorry"(note the small case "i")... This guy's got the nerve to comeback and tell us that "I was right, and proud of it..." wow, we should all pitch in time to "remove" this clown... no right is he holding that position of his and swing his political chain like a middle aged biker gang. WHAT DOES HE KNOW ABOUT HOLLYWOOD? WHO THE HECK IS HE THINKING HE COULD SPEAK FOR HOLLYWOOD? IS THIS SOME KIND OF POWER TRIP?

Oh look, a plurality of discourse! Listen, we know you want to keep up your public image, but the truth is this: You tried to hamper what may possibly the greatest tool for free speech in use today, you gamed the legal process and you've pissed off millions of people. Please, just step down and let someone else take over.

That was a very elegant "Fuck you". Same to you, Dodd.

how about this black out? is this an abuse of power too?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrbPwHyw-tY&lc=6zh8fMk9gkdEj42kfycrcNNYsFHvjeCL2WK6QohN0Ek&context=G254c19fFAAAAAAAAAAA&feature=g-all-c
(black march 2012)

Ive only just heard rumblings of that protest from that very video in fact Im considering participating (not buying entertainment in march) although Id still like to know what the internet at large things about it first.

This guy isn't in politics anymore? So he's gone the way of Michael Atkinson, Jack Thompson, Carole Lieberman, that person who denounced ME1, and that other guy whose name I can't remember.
I really should compile a list of people who've been disgraced by trying to fight these things, it would provide a useful service of what not to do when the internet and video games are involved.

samsonguy920:
le epic snip

Just so you know, that king was Harold Godwinson, not Alfred.

Anyway, if this idiot thinks the internet forgives and forgets that easily, he's in for the shock of his life.

If this guy had the spine and brains he likes to claim he does, he would put himself in a room with one of his opponents and try to explain his reasons that way. And then see how well he does defending them in the debate.
But you know he won't, because he has nothing to back his claims short of imagined figures, and too much fear that the skeletons in his closet will get out in the light of day. He knows the MPAA has already crossed the line as far as copyright law on their own side, with their own blatant breaches as well as their stepping on fair use. If this were allowed to become a true forum for debate instead of attempts at steamrolling bills through Congress, people would very quickly discover that small-time piracy pales in the shadow of the MPAA's and the RIAA's own crimes.

Therumancer:
Snipped for space.

Yes, that is very true today as far as where China stands. The only solution to stop that, though, is for the US and other western countries to embargo goods from China. Any government leader who proposed that idea would swiftly get taken out of office by any conglomerate of corporations who are making money hand over fist because of their outsourcing to China of manufacturing and shipping. India is benefiting just as much because of that.
Part of the issue with that is the US, among others, is swiftly going to a sole service-oriented industry. People don't want to have to break a sweat working in a factory line all day. They want an easy cubicle or counter job and then hit the fast food and super-department stores after for their shiny gadgets and food that they don't care where is from. And then go home to their internet and digital satellite/cable to finish their day.
If you need an example of why this is true, then you need only look to Detroit and ask why that city is a wasteland. People complain about illegal immigration and yet they don't step forward to work the jobs that the immigrants are more than willing to take on, regardless of how long those citizens have been out of work and living on welfare.
Don't blame China for destroying our economy or being the worst player in the piracy affair. China is merely filling a niche that we see fit to open up with our demands of more entertainment, more bling, more techy gadgets, and all of it cheaper. I think that merely falls into the category of good business.
And China isn't so eager for war, as they have too many economical allies who would be alienated by that. It has come to a point today where a world war would destroy so much that corporations would do anything they can to prevent it. Instead smaller wars such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and such are encouraged to create certain needs as well as burn off steam that would otherwise build up until too many countries ended up involved. It is true that China has the largest army in the world, but it isn't the best trained army, and most of it would be used as cannon fodder in any exchange.
Shortly before William of Normandy took over England, King AlfredHarold Godwinson was dealing with a viking invasion with its own aims to take over the isle. In one key battle, the viking army sent one man to hold a bridge which stood between them and AlfredHarold's considerable army. That one man took down over a hundred of AlfredHarold's soldiers before he finally fell himself, giving the Saxon king's army passage over the bridge to deal with the viking army. The vikings fell, but not before making Alfred pay a high price for the victory. This was a major factor that led to the Saxon King AlfredHarold losing the battle against the Norman William. When William made his bid to take over England, he did it with a smaller contingent of troops than what AlfredHarold had. But through poor policy decisions and not enough funding to military training, AlfredHarold Godwinson put himself at a position to lose long before the vikings even invaded.
China does have the largest army, yes. But they don't have the best training, nor ideal facilities for their soldiers. They are also focused on improving their economic ties to build their trading and manufacturing, which takes money away from their military budget. That is something that can not change overnight.
I don't worry so much about China. What I worry more about is the apathy and avarice the West builds upon to the point where things such as intellectual property are more important than human and civil rights. And we only have ourselves to blame.

Oy...hey Mr. Dodd...how about you stop kicking us in the crotch with DRM and ridiculous prices when we want to buy stuff legally, and maybe we won't go pirate shit to get the product we feel we deserve.

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