Dodd Cites “Moral Failure” of “Piracy Apologists”

In a speech today before the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, MPAA chairman Chris Dodd tried to sound a friendlier tone toward tech firms, certainly more that the Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley policy debate that went on today in Washington.

But he also called some in the tech community “piracy apologists” for defending sites that harbor pirated content yet don’t see the need to to anything about it.

“Some in the tech community believe that even if their website is being used to house stolen copyrighted content, that’s not their problem. Would they give the same answer if their sites were being used to distribute child pornography or computer viruses or phish for personal financial information? – Of course not!

“Some even believe that they should be entitled to enjoy the revenue they gain in selling advertising on these criminal rogue sites. And have the added nerve to call this innovation.

“The moral failure of these piracy apologists is indeed glaring.”

Nevertheless, perhaps recognizing that so many studios are teaming up with the likes of Google and Facebook, he also sounded a friendlier tone. He’ll be visiting Silicon Valley firms on Thursday.

He said, “We are ready—eager, even—to partner with technology companies to build new distribution models. But both sides of this debate must understand that we can only succeed if we succeed together. Silicon Valley needs Hollywood every bit as much as Hollywood needs Silicon Valley.”

Google has been among the leaders against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the companion PROTECT IP Act in the Senate, legislation supported by the MPAA and the Recording Industry Assn. of America. Nevertheless, on Wednesday Google announced a venture with thre major record labels for a new music service.

The full speech is below:

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