MPAA chief Chris Dodd used his speech today to the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers as a rallying cry to side with content creators who support the Stop Online Piracy Act — instead of tech companies that largely oppose the bill introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. The proposal would empower the government to block overseas websites that traffic in stolen entertainment and intellectual property. Content companies say it’s needed to limit piracy, while tech companies and the Consumer Electronics Association say it could stifle free expression. In his prepared remarks, Dodd asked SMPTE to “bring your expertise and your numbers to bear as we fight back against the theft of our product.” Dodd said he rejects the view that “we in the film and TV industry are dinosaurs, clinging desperately to a broken business model and stubbornly refusing to evolve.” He added that “one of my top priorities at the MPAA will be to grow and strengthen” a sense of partnership between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. “We cannot survive without each other.” But Dodd added that 2.2M people depend on the film and TV industries and “share in the pain when our industry is threatened.” He noted that 13% of adults have downloaded or watched illegal copies of movies or TV shows online — and that about a quarter of all Web traffic involves content that infringes on someone’s copyright. “We all pay the price for content theft,” he said. “It costs our nation 373,000 jobs; $16 billion in earnings; $3 billion in state, local, and federal taxes; and a total of $58 billion in economic output each year.”
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