MPAA chief Dodd pushes online piracy bill, says he believes in 'free and open' Internet

Now Motion Picture Association of America chief Christopher Dodd during the Gregory Peck commemorative stamp event, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
Now Motion Picture Association of America chief Christopher Dodd during the Gregory Peck commemorative stamp event, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented on Thursday, April 28, 2011. Matt Petit/Getty Images

The head of the Motion Picture Association of America Christopher Dodd continued his push for online piracy legislation making its way through Congress. In a speech today at liberal D.C. think tank the Center for American Progress, the former senator from Connecticut made a plea for Silicon Valley and Hollywood to work together.

Dodd said he supports a thriving tech sector and a “free and open” internet. But he told the audience that he also supports copyright protection for the films and TV shows that employ more than 2 million Americans.

"There is a difference between believing that the Internet should be free and open," he said, "and believing that just because something’s on the Internet, it should be free."

The battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley is being fought on Capitol Hill with lawmakers from northern California facing off over Internet piracy with their colleagues from Southern California. Dodd said his goal in the coming year is to bring the technology and creative communities together. He adds that copyright protection is as important to the technology industry as it is to Hollywood.

He said the conflict contains all the makings of a great book. "There was a country called America, a place called California. One city was arguably the international capital of content. And a car ride away, was the international capital of technology. And for some reason, these people in the same country, the same state, a car ride from each other, couldn’t figure out how to get together on this subject matter."

Dodd wouldn’t address the specifics of several bills circulating on Capitol Hill. But he hinted that he doesn’t care for a measure by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Temecula. It would give an international trade group the authority to go after rogue websites. Dodd said he considers that a “burdensome” approach to the problem.

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