Hollywood moguls haven’t given up on their goal of persuading Congress to adopt anti-piracy initiatives. But their lobby group the MPAA is promoting the controversial issue gingerly, issuing today its first-ever election-season memo of stats and talking points for candidates and “interested parties.” It extols Hollywood’s multibillion-dollar contribution to the economy and employment, as well as technological innovation. But it also promotes the need for new copyright protection strategies and opens the door to legislation similar to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which were beaten back in January following vigorous opposition by the tech industry and free speech advocates. The document (read it here) says that copyright protection “is critical to ensuring” that entertainment companies can “benefit from their creations” online. It also says there’s no need to fear that the government might use new anti-piracy powers to crack down on dissident speech or legitimate Internet businesses. “We can protect creative works while ensuring that the Internet works for everyone,” the MPAA says.
The friendly approach is a contrast to the anger many in Hollywood showed after SOPA and PIPA were rebuffed. (Remember Rupert Murdoch’s tweets about President Obama siding with “Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery”?) The new memo follows MPAA statements applauding the Republicans’ and the Democrats’ party platforms positions on intellectual property and the Internet freedom; MPAA CEO Christopher Dodd spent a day at each of the parties’ conventions. The former Democratic Senator from Connecticut has run the MPAA since March 2011. All 435 members of the House of Representatives plus 33 Senate seats are up for election this year.