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MPAA's Christopher Dodd praises GOP platform's anti-piracy stand

August 29, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • MPAA Chairman Christopher J. Dodd
MPAA Chairman Christopher J. Dodd

Christopher J. Dodd, a former Democratic senator from Connecticut and now Hollywood's point person in Washington, had some rare kind words for Republicans.

Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Hollywood's chief lobbying group, praised the GOP's statements on intellectual property and Internet freedom during its convention in Tampa, Fla.

"The Republican Party platform language strikes a very smart balance: it emphasizes the importance of us doing more as a nation to protect our intellectual property from online theft while underscoring the critical importance of protecting Internet freedom,'' Dodd said in a statement. "I agree wholeheartedly with my friends in the Republican Party that we must protect the free flow of information on the internet while also protecting American innovators. It is imperative to our national economy and our national identity that we protect an Internet that works for everyone."

Fighting piracy has been a top priority in Hollywood, where filmmakers often complain about the blatant theft of movies and TV shows from Internet sites, many of them registered overseas.

But the MPAA's efforts to enact tougher anti-piracy laws aimed at foreign websites badly misfired in January after Internet giants, including Google and Wikipedia, led a fierce online campaign to defeat the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), viewing them as an excessive intrusion on Internet freedom.

In a concession to movie studios, music labels and television companies, Google announced earlier this month that it would tweak its search engine to penalize websites suspected of hosting pirated music, videos, games and other copyrighted content.

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