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MPAA Praises Republican Platform On Copyright

Posted by: , 15:09 AEST, Sat September 1, 2012

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MPAA chairman Chris Dodd issues gushing praise of the Republican's platform on anti-piracy, despite said policy being scant on details regarding any actions that will be taken to solve the Internet piracy problem
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The president of the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA), and a former Democrat senator, has issued a gushing praise of the Republican party's anti-piracy platform that was made public at the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida.

Chris Dodd, the former Democratic senator from Connecticut, called the Republican's platform smart and balanced, praising the GOP for acknowledging the need to further protect intellectual property. 

"The Republican Party platform language strikes a very smart balance: it emphasizes the importance of us doing more as a nation to protect our intellectual property from online theft while underscoring the critical importance of protecting internet freedom. As the party points out, the internet has been for its entire existence a source of innovation, and it is intellectual property that helps drive that innovation. Copyright is the cornerstone of innovation; it allows creators to benefit from what they create. As Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — herself once a Republican elected official — wrote, 'It should not be forgotten that the Framers intended copyright itself to be the engine of free expression. By establishing a marketable right to the use of one’s expression, copyright supplies the economic incentive to create and disseminate ideas.'

I agree wholeheartedly with my friends in the Republican Party that we must protect the free flow of information on the internet while also protecting American innovators. It is imperative to our national economy and our national identity that we protect an internet that works for everyone," Dodd said in a statement.

Despite the glowing endorsement, the Republican platform on Internet anti-piracy is surprisingly lacking when it comes to details, with most of the emphasis on IP theft that occurs between nation states, as opposed to the consumer driven phenomenon that characterizes web piracy. The platform does feature the statement that "Punitive measures will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate American technology and intellectual property," suggesting non specific support for a SOPA/PIPA like bill in the future, assuming the public backlash won't be as great the next time.

Dodd's MPAA was one of the major backers behind the failed SOPA/PIPA bills, which would have given the US government enormous powers to investigate and prosecute foreign websites alleged to have engaged in IP theft. The bills were shelved after a planned day of action on the Internet which saw prominent websites, such as Wikipedia, join in a black-out event to protest both bills. Shortly after, Dodd made statements which seemed to indicate the MPAA would financially punish, via campaign donations, those that had worked against the bill, comments that angry netizens felt should be subject to an bribery investigation.


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