MPAA chief sees additional gains in China, too
To Kill a Mockingbird” — named the top film hero of the past 100 years by the American Film Institute — have a profound worldwide impact, Dodd noted. “That’s a black and white film with very little action and no special effects,” he added. Yet the industry, Dodd admits, remains saddled with an image of excess and selfishness, adding. “The dominant view of the business is of red carpets.” The MPAA chief said he had attended Sean Penn’s Haiti fundraiser on Friday — noting that he had served in the Peace Corps in Haiti before turning to politics — and pointed to other humanitarian efforts such as Brad Pitt’s work to help New Orleans recover and George Clooney’s aid to Sudan refugees. “These guys could have been doing other things,” Dodd said. It’s a dynamic that’s been particularly pointed for Dodd, given his efforts to move forward on legislation preventing theft of intellectual property. The Protect I.P. Act and its counterpart in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act, had broad bipartisan backing last year when Dodd was in his first months with the movie biz and was joined by the recording industry, book publishiers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the effort. “We’re in a transformative period with an explosion of technology that’s going to need content,” he said. But Internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter campaigned effectively against the legislation, mobilizing users on grounds that the new rules would impede the free flow of information on the Internet. “Google chose wisely by making Hollywood the enemy,” Dodd said ruefully. He said Saturday that the industry will need to take a far more nuanced approach to promoting future antipiracy legislation. “We’re going to have to be more subtle and consumer-oriented,” he added. “We’re on the wrong track if we describe this as thievery.” Dodd retired early last year from three decades in the U.S. Senate, so he’s precluded from lobbying his colleagues on industry issues on Capitol Hill until January. “I can’t say anything to them about this for another seven months, but I think my colleagues understand how important this is,” he said.