Hollywood, Silicon Valley need unity, leader says

Associated Press Modified: April 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: April 24, 2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chris Dodd, the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, said Tuesday that Hollywood and Silicon Valley must work together to protect intellectual property.

Silicon Valley has likely succeeded in killing anti-piracy legislation at least until after the 2012 elections, said Dodd, whose remarks came at CinemaCon, a Las Vegas convention for theater owners.

Instead, reform must come by improving Hollywood's relationship with Silicon Valley by stressing the havoc pirated films can wreak on consumers, creative leaders and the many blue-collar workers who make up the movie industry, Dodd said.

"Content needs technology, technology needs content, and the idea that somehow there is a loser in all of this, it's beyond my imagination why people are insisting on that," Dodd said.

A massive campaign by Web giants Wikipedia and Google and their millions of users saw Congress indefinitely postpone legislation in January to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars each year. The move was largely seen as a victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood.

The two bills sought to allow the Justice Department and copyright holders to seek court orders against foreign websites accused of copyright infringement. They also would forbid search engines from linking to such sites.

Opponents said the reforms would result in censorship and stifle innovation.

The MPAA, which represents the major film studios, has been a leading advocate for anti-piracy legislation. Dodd joined the MPAA last year after representing Connecticut in the U.S. Senate for 30 years.

In Las Vegas, Dodd said the number of illegal videos taken of movies in theaters declined by 50 percent since 2007, but noted that consumers in the U.S. and Canada need constant incentives to see films on the big screen and not in the comfort of their homes.

"One third of the public in the U.S. and in Canada no longer goes to the movies," he said. "We need to bring them back."

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