Chris Dodd Says MPAA Is On The Wrong Track; We Agree

from the well, let's see some leadership dept

Over at the Cannes Film Festival, MPAA boss Chris Dodd apparently told Variety that the MPAA is “on the wrong track” when it calls infringement “theft.”

“We’re in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that’s going to need content… We’re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented…. We’re on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery.”

Now, I thought that was kind of interesting, because it appears that the folks who work for Dodd haven’t received the memo. The MPAA website is chock full of his minions calling it “theft” every chance they get. There’s an entire page supposedly dedicated to “types of content theft.” There’s a page on “rogue websites,” that calls them “havens for theft.” There’s a link in the footer to a website called There’s also a link in the footer to the ICE website (you know, the government agency illegally seizing and censoring websites based on no evidence) saying to click the logo “to report IP theft.” Then there’s the MPAA’s “blog,” which as of this writing has the word “theft” on the front page a mere fifteen times (and “steal” or “stealing” another three times). So, er, Dodd might want to have a chat with his staffers.

Because, according to Chris Dodd, the MPAA is on the wrong track.

And, for once, I think we actually agree with Chris Dodd. Of course, some of us have been saying this since Dodd’s first speech on the job — which (of course) focused on saying how infringement was “no different” than theft.

There’s also some history here. For a while, the industry focused on the word “piracy” to describe infringement. But about three years ago, a movie studio exec made the claim that the industry had “made a mistake” using the word “piracy,” because it “glamorized” the practice (of course, Hollywood helped out with the glamorization thanks to some big blockbuster movies starring Johnny Depp…). Practically overnight, the use of “piracy” changed in the industry to “content theft.” So, perhaps this is the start of a new phase…

Either way, it certainly doesn’t seem like Dodd has really figured out just how disastrous things are going under his “leadership.” Much of the story still has him blaming tech companies for stopping SOPA and PIPA. Until he realizes that it was the public the spoke up (and actually helped drag along those tech companies), he’s never going to understand what happened, and never going to be able to lead appropriately. Hell, you can even see his dangerous framing in the short statement above. Notice he said they need to be more “subtle.” He hasn’t realized that their entire policy focus is wrong. He just thinks they’re being too brazen about it.

We’ve asked Dodd (repeatedly, now) to actually come out and talk to the public. I’m sure the folks at Reddit would be happy to set up an AMA. We’d be happy to have him come and chat with our community as well. Yet, he refuses to do so. Instead, he continues to only lobby behind the scenes and blame the wrong parties in public. Things are never going to improve if he keeps on that path. He doesn’t need to be “more subtle.” He needs to actually understand what that public tried to tell him back in January. Instead, he seems to be sticking his fingers in his ears and taking random guesses.

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Comments on “Chris Dodd Says MPAA Is On The Wrong Track; We Agree”

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Re: Re:

Well, a few seconds before reading this article I could bet my balls that I’d see the heavenly fires raining down on Earth in the apocalypse but I wouldn’t see Chriss Dodd admitting MPAA is on the wrong track and comparing infringement with theft isn’t right.

Considering my balls are safe (I didn’t bet) and I’m not seeing smoking human sculptures of charcoal around me burning in celestial fire and Dodd actually just did that… I will not doubt your phrase.

Josef Anvilsays:


The MPAA doesn’t create anything. They simply receive money to further the profit of the movie industry. When your sole purpose is to lobby for the protection of an antiquated business model, you will do whatever you can to accomplish your goal, regardless of what the public thinks.

The problem Chris Dodd faces is that the distribution network and the communication platform are the same (the interwebs), effectively making it almost impossible to pass any enforcement legislation that would not trample the 1st and 4th Amendments. No matter how much money is thrown at the problem (lobbying); if legislation were to pass, it would eventually find its way to the Supreme Court.

The eejitsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I never said they did, but the moment politics got into bed with extremists within its own country, the outlook wasn’t good. The Evangelical Right was an example, but not the only one.

What was worse was that the people, for whatever reason, not only allowed this to happen, but encouraged it.

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Agreed! We were on the road to doom long before Bush, although he wasn’t much of a help to be sure. We (The People) are the ones electing the goons, supporting the corporations, and spending our time watching tv and eating tacos in Dorito shells instead of paying attention to the news and thinking critically about important issues. The politicians might not be helping, and they might be easy to insult, but just blaming them isn’t solving anything.


“We’re in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that’s going to need content…”

Translation: The world revolves around us and all that tech shit is completely worthless without us.

“We’re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented….”

Translation: We need to keep our backroom deals a more secretive and oriented way out of the line of sight of the consumers.

“We’re on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery.”

Translation: Those little shits have commandeered another of our derogatory names again. Maybe something like “artist soul snatchers” or “baby music killers” could work.


Re: Re:

“We’re in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that’s going to need content…”

“Translation: The world revolves around us and all that tech shit is completely worthless without us.”

Good point. We already have content, it’s just that this content doesn’t come from them. It comes from us, we make our own content and distribute it. Their insinuation is that without them, this technology doesn’t have content and we need them. No thank you. Without them, we’ll all be better off because we’ll have technologies, and a legal system, that will better facilitate independent content creators. We won’t have Veoh and Megaupload killed for no good reason and independent content creators can use these means to distribute independent content. We won’t have IP laws with a one sided penalty structure that prevents many restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers (and children from putting a custom drawing on their birthday cake). We won’t have government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies. Content creators will better be able to distribute their content without going through these parasite middlemen that contribute absolutely nothing.


Re: Re: Parasites

When you say

Content creators will better be able to distribute their content without going through these parasite middlemen that contribute absolutely nothing.

You sum it up entirely

The media “industry” is losing it’s cocaine fuelled control of what it always regarded as a long term, unassailable future.

The respectability they try to project in their death throes is also laughable.

Are we to believe that the “casting couch” is an urban myth?

That Decca executives were so competent in judging “what the public wants/needs” that they rejected the Beatles?

I rest my case


‘ICE, the government agency illegally seizing and censoring websites based on no evidence, just on the orders (not even the request) of the entertainment industries!’

‘Dodd might want to have a chat with his staffers’ to dispel the ‘theft’ idea.

i doubt if Dodd will be head of the MPAA for much longer, having come out with this. he must know something the rest of us dont. perhaps the writing is on the wall after all? or could it be that after those in power were reminded of how the US movie industry started in Hollywood? the man himself is a typical bully, though. as stated, he continuously blames the wrong people while lobbying for his organisation but he hasn’t got the balls to actually have an open and informed discussion with anyone that disputes his view and then he belittles any evidence and survey results that contradict the made up opinions of Hollywood.


He needs to actually understand what that public tried to tell him back in January. Instead, he seems to be sticking his fingers in his ears and taking random guesses.

He would have to put aside his 30+ years of experience in backroom dealings and lying to/manipulating the public before that can happen. I don’t think that’s very likely to happen, and is probably why he was given the job as boss of the MPAA in the first place (leaving aside payment for political favors).


“We’re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented….”

BTW Mr. Dodd, I’m an almost-50 self-employed professional with plenty of disposable income; and I “pirated” Inception this weekend because it’s not streamable on Amazon (citing “licensing agreements”) or Netflix, and not on Cox On-Demand or in the local RedBox (as if I would leave the house to rent a DVD in 2012).

Oh, and it’s a high-quality DVDrip that I can stream off my laptop via a groovy wireless-HDMI dongle to my giant flatscreen and see/hear virtually no difference from the legal version.

Have a nice day. Please advise where to send my $4.


Re: Re:

Oh, Mr. Dodd … and while I was at Pirate Bay, they were running ads for some super-cool Kickstarter projects, to whom I ultimately pledged a healthy chunk of my cash; and about which the good feelings I obtained overrode my residual guilt from “pirating” a Chris Nolan film, one of my fave directors.

Have a doubly nice day.

Baldaur Regissays:

Re: Re:

…a high-quality DVDrip that I can stream…

An often over-looked aspect of sharing/pirating/infringing/whatever is how participatory and educational the activity is. Comparing rips, commenting, giving and getting advice on program settings and workarounds – I’ve gotten more practical knowledge on current technology from spending an hour on TBP than any number of weeks in coursework.

So excuse me, Mr. Dodd, but I’m no longer a ‘consumer’. Regardless of the roadblocks thrown in the way, the products your employers distribute will be modded, in much the same way, and for the same reasons, that previous generations tinkered with their cars.


Re: Re: Ratchet up the hyperbole

I think you may be on to something; it seems they are slowly trying to equate infringement with the much scarier things such as ?cybercrime? so they can get laws passed that way. After all, who could possibly be for cybercrime? I mean who really cares about infringement, that just means some kid downloading a couple of songs but if we can convince people that this is serious crime like hacking a nuclear plant we can make all sorts of laws because no one wants a nuke plant to blow up.


Having Dodd on Reddit or TechDirt would be like tossing a naked baby into a pit of wolves. Why would he ever agree to that?

And honestly, his job is to be the bad guy for Hollywood so we hate the MPAA and not the studios. It doesn’t matter if the public hates him as long as they still love their movies. After all, we wouldn’t want the nerds to boycott The Avengers (not that they ever would anyway.)

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re:

And honestly, his job is to be the bad guy for Hollywood so we hate the MPAA and not the studios.

This is a really excellent point. I tend to use “MPAA” as shorthand to collectively refer to the handful of megastudios that have effectively declared war against our freedoms and culture. I simply take it as a given that people know that the MPAA is the studios.

I should stop doing that.


On the subject of Dodd I personally think this man is a corrupt asshole and typical two faced Politician.I would not trust this schmuck for a second.
As far as the MAFIAA I will continue on my lifetime Boycott of this Industry.I want nothing to do with them.I will spend what little money I have on INDIE & Kickstarter Content.The sooner I see the MAFIAA die the better.
And on Washington Politics both Parties are totally corrupted and have been for decades.Every year it just gets worse.Better hope we are not all going to live to see another Civil War as bad times may be coming up real soon.
Between Money & Politics as well as Religion mixed with Politics they are playing a very dangerous game.

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