You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chris Dodd: Consumers Need to Understand That Piracy Hurts Middle-Income Families

This column is part of Variety’s Broken Hollywood feature. For more execs and their opinions on the state of Hollywood, click here.

Two million people get up every morning in all 50 states to go to work in good-paying jobs. Few will ever walk a red carpet, but their jobs are in jeopardy because of piracy.

When we talk about stolen property like pirated films or shows, I think the assumption is these are wealthy people, so what difference does it make if I steal from them? There’s not an understanding that 96% are hard-working, middle-income families paying mortgages and trying to educate their kids.

In many cases, the financing of projects is at risk, particularly midsize films, like a lot of those this year nominated for Oscars.

Twenty five percent of Internet bandwidth traffics in infringed property. In January 2013 alone there were some 327 million unique visitors to sites with illegally downloaded material.

In the last few years, we have developed some 400 legal distribution services providing access to legal content. These have resulted in some 57 billion downloads of legal TV episodes and 6 billion legal downloads of films. We need to make it easy for people to find content at a price point that’s affordable.

China is an incredibly important market. It’s the second-largest market for the American film industry, but it’s also a major source of piracy. Yet as they are becoming very active in producing and distributing their own content, they recognize that piracy is impacting their ability to have a vibrant industry.

If you want to make a dent in a decentralized echo chamber like the Internet, what’s necessary is the voluntary understanding and buy-in of stakeholders. In the coming years, we hope to facilitate some of those conversations with companies such as Google. We need to propagandize better, to engage more of the community and make them aware of the threats to our creative future.

The events that we’ve had recently, such as the hacking at Sony, show that it’s more than just a movie problem; it’s a business problem. Photos, personal information, company data are all at risk. In retrospect, I wish I’d spoken out more. This happened to a member of our family. This was an attack on free speech and private property, and as the head of the MPAA, I should have been more vocal.

More Biz

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Pamela Anderson

    Pamela Anderson Fears Julian Assange 'Won't Survive' Extradition to U.S.

    After previously speaking out in support of her friend and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, Pamela Anderson doesn’t think he would survive an extradition from the U.K. to the U.S. “I hope he gets out of there, but I don’t think he’ll survive extradition. It can’t happen. It’s not even an option. We can’t have him [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content