×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dodd slams Google over legislatoin

Entertainment Content Protection Summit 2011

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd challenges the notion that Hollywood and Silicon Valley are pitted against each other, noting in speeches that “we can only succeed if we succeed together.” Far from being unwilling to embrace the freedom of the Internet, he notes that when he was in the Senate, he supported net neutrality.

But when the topic comes to Google’s opposition to a major piece of anti-piracy legislation working its way through Congress, his tone turns from conciliatory to critical.

“How do you justify a search engine providing for someone to go and steal something?” he asked rhetorically in a recent interview at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers conference. “A guy that drives the getaway car didn’t rob the bank necessarily, but they got you to the bank and they got you out of it, so they are accessories in my view.”

Such talk is likely to intensify as Google, digital rights groups and others accelerate their efforts to stop the Senate PROTECT IP Act and its companion in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act. The long-in-the-works legislation seeks to curb so-called rogue websites that traffic in unlicensed goods, including not just movies, TV shows and music, but counterfeit pharmaceuticals and even military parts.

Essentially the legislation aims to create a firewall between such foreign sites and U.S. users by blocking domain names, cutting off links and stemming the money flow that comes from ad services and payment processors.

Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other Internet companies fear that it will impose new obligations on them to police the Internet, given provisions that allow the government to seek a court order to force them to take action.

Google executives say that they are well aware of the problems of piracy — and insist they are getting better at responding to takedown notices — but they would like to see the legislation limited to cutting off sites’ money supply.

Opponents also see the legislation as so broadly written that it will have unintended consequences. In an interview with Google, Vint Cerf, recognized as one of the fathers of the Internet and Google’s chief Internet evangelist, warned of “likely harm” to the Internet itself from the effort. The worry is that by trying to create a wall between foreign rogue sites and users in the U.S., efforts to block domain names will interfere with the Internet’s core architecture.

But Dodd calls such alarms “exaggerated hyperbole.”

Dodd, who assumed his post in March, notes that the idea of blocking sites is by no means unprecedented. Other supporters of the legislation note Internet providers already block criminal content like child pornography. Citing a more controversial practice, Dodd notes “When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn’t do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.”

He suggests that companies opposing the legislation may view it differently if they were confronted with the rampant piracy facing Hollywood.

Google “recently bought Motorola, with 700 patents,” Dodd says. “If you can find patents on the Internet, maybe you ought to be able to steal it. Copyright is a limited right, patent is an unlimited right. But maybe people ought to have access to those patents. Maybe that ought to happen.”

Dodd, however, says that the current battle waging in Washington shouldn’t obscure the partnership between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

“The kind of relationship we have had with the technology community has benefited everybody,” he says. “I am kind of disappointed that [some opponents] are leading naive people along that this is a choice you have to make between technology and content. It is not a choice you have to make.”

More Music

  • Childish Gambino 'Pharos" AR App Launches

    Childish Gambino Releases 'Pharos' AR App for Android Phones

    Childish Gambino is taking his “Pharos” multimedia franchise to a new platform: Donald Glover’s alter ego released a “Pharos” augmented reality (AR) app for Android phones Wednesday morning, with an iOS version forthcoming at a later time. The app allows users to open up an AR portal in their living room (or where ever else [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Sued by India’s Oldest Label, Will Remove Catalog From Platform

    Just weeks after Spotify launched in India without securing rights from Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, it is being sued by the country’s oldest record label, Saregama, and will remove that company’s 120,000-song catalog from its platform within 10 days, according to reports in Inc42 and Music Business Worldwide. The streaming giant had approached the label for [...]

  • DJ Mormile and Jeff Burroughs Def

    Def Jam Appoints DJ Mormile, Jeff Burroughs to Senior Posts

    Def Jam Recordings has appointed industry veterans DJ Mormile and Jeff Burroughs (pictured above, right and left, respectively) to senior executive roles in its Los Angeles and New York offices, respectively. The announcement was made today by label Chairman & CEO Paul Rosenberg. Mormile — the L.A.-based manager who counts producer Mike Will Made It and [...]

  • DJ Mustard Signs With Sony/ATV Music

    DJ Mustard Signs With Sony/ATV Music Publishing (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Grammy-winning songwriter, artist and producer Mustard to a worldwide deal. The Los Angeles-based hitmaker has worked with artists including YG, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Drake, Migos, Chris Brown, Nipsey Hussle, Big Sean and many others, and won Best R&B Song at this year’s Grammy Awards for co-writing Ella Mai’s smash single [...]

  • Tribeca Film Festival'Venus in Fur' film

    Tribeca Film Festival: 10 Music Docs We’re Excited to See

    While the Tribeca Film Festival usually has strong music entries, this year has such a bounty that narrowing our top picks down to 10 was a challenge. This year’s offerings range from documentaries on the legendary Apollo Theater, the Wu-Tang Clan and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman to music-adjacent films like Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” (about [...]

  • Pandora Acquisition Bites Into SiriusXM’s First-Quarter

    Pandora Acquisition Bites Into SiriusXM’s First-Quarter Profits

    SiriusXM today announced first quarter 2019 operating and financial results — the first since the company completed its acquisition of Pandora Media on Feb. 1 — and its quarterly profit was down 44% from the previous year. It attributed that drop to approximately $76 million of acquisition and other costs related to the Pandora deal, a $31 million one-time benefit [...]

  • ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny

    Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content