MPAA chairman Chris Dodd held his first board meeting in Washington with reps from the major studios, including Warner Bros.’ Barry Meyer, Sony’s Michael Lynton and Fox’s Jim Gianopulos. Along with reps from IATSE, SAG, AFTRA and the DGA, they scheduled what an MPAA official said were “meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration to discuss the critical importance of curbing online content theft and improving international market access.” A source said that the group also held a meeting with Vice President Joseph Biden, who has emerged as a champion of anti-piracy issues.
The markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected on Dec. 14 in the House Judiciary Committee, and while there are many more steps to go before the legislation makes it to President Obama’s desk and becomes law, the Hollywood lobby is worried that the legislation will stall, especially as opponents are mounting online campaigns against it. It has set up what is, for all intents and purposes, a battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. The chief supporters of the legislation in the House and the Senate — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) — vow to shepherd it through.
Update: Dodd issued a statement today. “Content theft is not a victimless crime,” he said. “At this time of great economic uncertainty, it makes no sense to allow this state of affairs to continue. The movie and the TV industries aren’t just about big studios and stars. More than 2.2 million hard-working, middle-class people in all 50 states depend on the entertainment industry for their jobs.
Another update: Also lobbying on Capitol Hill, per the Huffington Post, was Rupert Murdoch, showing how importance the bills are to the studios.