At The Hollywood Reporter, Pamela McClintock recently got to interview “Hollywood’s top lobbyist“, MPAA chairman Christopher Dodd. Her coverage is worth reading, if only to gain a sense of how spending 36 years in Washington shapes what someone thinks about dropping names.
McClintock asks Dodd if SOPA is dead, to which he says:
“I regret that Steve Jobs isn’t around today. At least he understood the connection between content and technology. The fellow who started eBay, Jeff Skoll, gets it [Skoll is founder and chairman of the film companyParticipant Media]. There are not a huge number of people who understand that content and technology absolutely need each other, so I’m counting on the fact that there are people like Jeff and others who are smart and highly respected in both communities. Between now and sometime next year [after the presidential election], the two industries need to come to an understanding.”
Talk about the “new choke points“: Dodd doesn’t event pretend that copyright is a bargain between content creators and the society whose laws grant the right. It’s just something for representatives of content and technology to work out.
In the interview, McClintock follows up with Dodd to ask if “conversations are going on now”. The former senator can barely avoid saying “yes”:
“I’m confident that’s the case, but I’m not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.”
Public opposition to SOPA has taught the MPAA to make sure it has the tech players in line before trying again. That is sobering, but there’s no surprise here.