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MPAA debuts new website telling stories behind the story

September 13, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • The Credits, a new website from the MPAA, is designed to tell stories about the personalities and companies that make the film and television industry run.
The Credits, a new website from the MPAA, is designed to tell stories about… (MPAA )

The industry's chief lobbying group wants to do a better job of telling Hollywood's story.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America is launching a new website today called The Credits that provides feature stories, graphics and facts and figures intended to offer more insight into the people and businesses that make the film and television industry run.

"I don't think the industry has done a very good job of telling its story," said Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA, in an interview. "It's an important part of an overall message that we're innovators."

The website, www.TheCredits.org, will feature stories written by MPAA staff and freelance writers nationwide on such topics as a new studio opening Atlanta, interviews and videos with directors such as Michael Apted, and profiles of film festivals, luxury movie theaters and vendors that service the industry. The site also will include movie trivia and data about global box-office trends.

"We're not arguing with people on this site,'' Dodd said. "We're working on the assumption that people who care about the industry might enjoy learning more about it." 

Although the site is not overtly political, organizers hope it will build support for some of the MPAA's top priorities, such as fighting piracy and supporting film tax credits around the country.

"This is not solely located in California and New York ... this is a a national business," Dodd said. "At a time when we're looking at job creation at home, this is an industry that puts a lot of people to work."

The initiative is somewhat similar in theme to another group supported by the MPAA called Creative America, which launched last year in an effort to mobilize entertainment industry workers and educate the public about the perils of online piracy.

The MPAA's efforts to push through tougher anti-piracy laws -- intended to crack down on foreign websites offering access to pirated movies and TV shows -- badly misfired earlier this year after Google, Wikipedia and other tech giants mounted an extraordinary campaign to oppose the laws. Critics said the measures would curb Internet freedoms and harm legitimate websites.

Dodd said there were no new efforts to pursue anti-piracy laws. "Forget legislation at this point," he said.

But he praised recent steps by Google to penalize sites hosting pirated content. "I applaud what Google did," he said. "They moved the dial."

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