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Chris Dodd Made $2.4 Million in First Year at MPAA

Org's total revenue climbed to $60.8 million

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd received a compensation package of $2.4 million in 2011, the year he joined the motion picture trade association and became Hollywood’s chief lobbyist.

Dodd’s compensation package included base pay of $2.2 million, incentives of $100,000 and about $60,000 in other benefits, according to the org’s tax filing with the IRS. He joined the MPAA on March 17, 2011, succeeding interim CEO Robert Pisano, whose compensation package totalled $1.35 million. As 501(c) tax exempt org, the MPAA’s tax filings are made public.

The filing was first reported by the website TorrentFreak.

The bulk of the MPAA’s revenue comes from studio member dues, and total revenue climbed to $60.8 million, from $49.6 million. But expenses also increased to $61 million, from $49.6 million a year earlier, leaving the MPAA with a $246,879 loss.

The MPAA spent $4.7 million on lobbying during 2011, when it was urging Congress to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act, a measure that was eventually sidelined after an unprecedented protest led by Internet firms. It also spent $4.2 million on investigations, as one of the org’s missions is combating piracy.

The org gave out a number of grants, including $50,000 to the Democratic Attorney Generals Assn., $13,000 to the American Film Institute, $31,000 to the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation, $150,000 to the Democratic Governors Assn., $10,000 to the Family Online Safety Institute, $75,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee, $150,000 to the Republican Governors Assn. and $100,000 to Americans for Tax Reform. The latter is the org run by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist.

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One of the more unusual grants went to Let Freedom Ring, which received $10,000 from the MPAA. The org promotes “constitutional government, economic freedom and traditional values,” and while its membership is perhaps well to the right of center-left Hollywood, both sides tried to engage the Tea Party grassroots in the debate. In blog posts and other messages on its website, Let Freedom Ring urged its members in late 2011 to support SOPA and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act.

The MPAA is operating on a smaller budget than it did five years ago, when revenue totalled more than $92 million. The org went through a series of cutbacks the next year under CEO Dan Glickman. His salary in 2009 was $1.4 million.

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