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MPAA's Chris Dodd extends olive branch to Silicon Valley

October 02, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, addresses the crowd during a state-of-the-industry event at CinemaCon 2011 in Las Vegas.
Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of… (Chris Pizzello )

Chris Dodd, Hollywood's chief lobbyist, extended an olive branch to Silicon Valley.

Eager to put to rest a bruising battle with Google and other tech companies over ill-fated anti-piracy bills this year, Dodd stressed common ground between California's two signature  industries in a speech Tuesday at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.

"What I don't want to do is relive the SOPA debate -- and I hope you don't either,'' Dodd said, alluding to the Stop Online Piracy Act that sparked an unprecedented online protest led by Google, Wikipedia and other tech giants. They saw the bill as threat to the Internet.

"Issues surrounding piracy and how we protect the hard work of many thousands of American creators and makers in movies and television are important though, and worth talking about together without heated rhetoric and raised voices. And I accept my share of responsibility for some of that in the past."

Dodd even praised Google for recent steps to curb online piracy and touted common interests shared with Hollywood.

He cited the joint initiative known as UltraViolet, an effort by dozens of content and tech companies to allow customers to purchase and acquire content in one form and then have the ability to watch it on any of their devices.

"We share a belief in innovation,'' Dodd said. "We call them audiences, you call them users, but giving them the best possible experience is a shared goal. In the end, we all report to the same people."

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