MPAA Swears It’s Not Pushing For More Anti-Piracy Legislation

A few years back, the entertainment industry used its unique charms (read: money) to glamour several members of Congress into supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act, one of the few pieces of legislation to draw almost universal disdain from everyone other than the industry that backed it, as it would have exacerbated the shoot-first-maybe-investigate-later model already in place thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thankfully, some Congressional aides actually look at the Internet and sensed the public backlash wasn’t worth the campaign donations that their bosses were still going to get anyway, and SOPA failed. Now the industry says it wants to combat piracy by winning over consumers instead of arresting teenagers.

Earlier this week, the House’s Creative Rights Caucus threw a bash with various Hollywood types — Patrick Duffy!! — including the Motion Picture Association of America, one of the most powerful backers of SOPA and other anti-piracy legislation.

But when MPAA CEO Chris Dodd — a former Senator who is no stranger to controversy — spoke to The Wrap at the event, he said his organization is giving up legislative efforts to penalize pirates.

“The world is changing at warp speed. We are not going to legislate or litigate our way out of it,” said Dodd. “We are going to innovate our way out by educating people about the hard work of people.”

That was the point, he claims, of the D.C. event — to show lawmakers that piracy hurts not just the studio execs with their fancy cars, but all sorts of people who the studio execs can’t name because they aren’t important enough.

“In this space everyone has to contribute to ensure that peoples’ content can be respected,” continued Dodd. “Instead of finger pointing at everybody and arresting 14-year olds, the answer is making our product accessible in as many formats and distributive services as possible at price points they can afford. We are discovering that works.”

Of course, one of the MPAA’s recent efforts is trying to convince theatergoers to call the cops on people they see trying to record a movie in the theater.


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