MPAA Chief on SOPA and PIPA: “They’re Not Coming Back”

Former Sen. Christopher Dodd, speaking about two controversial copyright bills, says the association has moved in a different direction after a popular outcry.

Earlier this year, when the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) became a major online point of contention, the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Christopher Dodd, was right in the middle.

People were dropping their names as cosponsors within minutes, not hours.

Now, months after the bills disappeared amid populist online revolt, Dodd, a former Democratic senator, says we probably won’t see them resurface.

“These bills are dead, they’re not coming back. And they shouldn’t,” he told reporters at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on Tuesday night, according to Ars Technica.

The bills, designed to fight online trafficking of copyrighted material on foreign-owned sites, would have created provisions for the federal government to fight such theft, including cutting off advertising and payment methods for infringing sites.

Opponents of the bills, especially in the tech industry, felt they would damage the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, potentially damaging their business models and leaving them open to litigation over their users’ actions.

The Internet Association was founded last month largely as a reaction to the bills.

Dodd, who spoke to reporters on the topic only after the event intended to highlight Hollywood’s relationship with Silicon Valley, noted the mass exodus from the bill.

“When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event,” said Dodd, who called some of the reaction “over the top.” “There were 8 million emails [to elected representatives] in two days … People were dropping their names as cosponsors within minutes, not hours.”

The MPAA head says the group plans to work more collaboratively with members of the technology community to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

“I think we’re better served by sitting down [with the tech sector and SOPA opponents] and seeing what we agree on,” he said.

(U.S. government photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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