This is a taller order than the former Senator might realize: Theater owners are notoriously press shy. Still, he told CinemaCon attendees today that “it’s crucial for all of us to tell the story of our industry’s impact” on jobs and culture. “Nobody can make a better case (locally) than you….Tell them about the consequences of stealing our films. This should be easy for us. After all, we are all in the story-telling business.” The Hollywood lobby group suffered a humiliating setback last year when it lost an effort to persuade Congress to adopt anti-piracy policies that were largely opposed by the technology community. Still, Dodd says he’s “determined to do everything on my watch to be sure the momentum continues” to combat piracy. Studios and tech companies “have more in common than a lot of people realize,” the MPAA chief told the theater execs. “You in this room have embraced technology …Stopping content theft must be a top priority for everyone in this business.”
He added that they’re making progress: Incidence of illegal camcorder use in theaters is down 50% from 2007. Dodd cited the MPAA’s effort to demonstrate that 99% of the jobs it hopes to save involve ordinary people, not just high-paid actors, directors and moguls. The MPAA has a website, TheCredits.org, that draws attention to people who work behind the camera. “Business, government, and ordinary citizens must work together to be sure the Internet works for everyone,” he says.