THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MPAA has told Silicon Valley that he does not want to repeat the mistakes of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, but does want to stop online 'piracy'.
Chris Dodd, a Republican former US Senator from Connecticut and the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, made the comments during a speech at the Cinemacon event at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
He used the event to speak about how the entertainment and information technology industries shared common ground, despite their differences and despite the controversies of the past.
He revisited his comments in an editorial on the Politico website where he also praised Google for its work in shutting out sites that share or link to illegally copied material.
"Despite what the media and the advocates on the extremes would have you believe, the content and technology communities are not adversaries, we're partners. Our companies call them audiences and tech companies call them users, but giving consumers the best possible experience is our shared goal. In the end, we all report to the same people: consumers," he said
"We both share a commitment to innovation. Developing fresh and interesting content, and new platforms for seamlessly delivering that content to audiences, is the lifeblood of both of our industries."
Dodd is aware that moves to come down hard on 'piracy' like the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, polarised opinions, and while they won favour among rightsholders they were opposed by many large web firms. He and the MPAA are keen to avoid being drawn into such polarising debates again, he said.
"No one wants to relive the polarising debate we had last winter over legislation that was meant to help curb online piracy. But intellectual property protection is important and needs to be discussed without heated rhetoric or raised voices. It's important to the entertainment community, the tech community and the American economy - and to our audience," he wrote
Dodd praised Google for the work it has done this year in deranking websites that share copied material, and said that more cooperation is needed.
"The tech community will be integral to helping solve this problem. It's going to require cooperation and voluntary best practices from all interested parties. We saw some of that earlier this summer when Google altered its algorithm to de-emphasise pirated content," he added.
"That was an important step because it recognises the problem, and it recognises Google's ability to do something about it. It was not a silver bullet, and there's much more to be done - but it was a good acknowledgment from Google that content theft is a problem and one that can be tackled." µ
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