Now, before we delve into the Chris Dodd interview that’s making waves around the Internet, it should be noted that, if the bill is resurrected or revitalized, it probably won’t be called “SOPA.” That being said, SOPA has essentially moved past simply being the title of an Internet regulation bill, and has become a cause or an idea to support. With that in mind, MPAA CEO Chris Dodd looks at the recent SOPA defeat as merely a hurdle the entertainment industry has to navigate before getting its way.
As indicated, SOPA was thrust back into the spotlight thanks to an interview The Hollywood Reporter did with Dodd. While invoking the name Steve Jobs, President Obama, and eBay founder, Jeff Skoll, Dodd is confident something like SOPA will soon be enacted. Furthermore, Dodd hints at what Demand Progress calls “Hollywood’s backroom deal” with President Obama flexing his political influence to further the goals of SOPA, in whatever format or witty acronym it’s wrapped in.
The portion of the interview focusing on SOPA:
THR: What is the status of the Stop Online Piracy Act? Is the legislation dead, or will there be compromise between Hollywood and Silicon Valley?
Dodd: I regret that Steve Jobs isn’t around today. At least he understood the connection between content and technology. The fellow who started eBay, Jeff Skoll, gets it [Skoll is founder and chairman of the film company Participant Media]. There are not a huge number of people who understand that content and technology absolutely need each other, so I’m counting on the fact that there are people like Jeff and others who are smart and highly respected in both communities. Between now and sometime next year [after the presidential election], the two industries need to come to an understanding.
THR: Are there conversations going on now?
Dodd: I’m confident that’s the case, but I’m not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.
THR: Did you feel personally blindsided by Obama over SOPA?
Dodd: I’m not going to revisit the events of last winter. I’ll only say to you that I’m confident he’s using his good relationships in both communities to do exactly what you and I have been talking about.
This last quote in particular is what caused watchdog groups like Demand Progress to react, going as far to create a “New SOPA” page that features a petition form asking the Obama to reject these “backroom” deals, complete with following rejection notice:
TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND CHRIS DODD: After the biggest outpouring of activism in the history of the Internet, it’s appalling that Hollywood is back to its old insider ways. No backroom deals — and no new SOPA. And any and all negotiations with Hollywood should take place in the light of day.
What does it say about an entertainment industry head who completely ignores the wishes of the consumers he and his industry serves? Considering the White House’s postion on SOPA, it appears as if the Obama administration is much more in tune with the public than Hollywood is, or, judging by the unnecessary remakes that litter the cineplexes, ever will be.