Chris Dodd Rewrites Hollywood's History To Pretend That It Came About Because Of IP Laws
from the well,-sort-of dept
Ah, Chris Dodd. Can you open your mouth without saying something ridiculously misleading? Sometimes, it doesn’t seem possible. The latest is that he’s claiming that strong IP laws were the reason Hollywood was created:
The truth is that neither the content nor the technology industries could survive without strong protections for intellectual property.
Many of you are familiar with how the name Hollywood became synonymous with the birth of the American film industry. It was in Jacob Stern’s horse barn, at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, the story goes, that Cecil B. DeMille screened the first full length feature film 100 years ago.
Well, when it comes to the tech sector, replace “Jacob Stern’s horse barn” with “Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room” at Harvard, and you have almost the same story with the birth of Facebook.
In these and countless other examples throughout our history, the ability to give birth to an idea and convert it into economic success, whether it is the content of a film or the technology of the internet, depends on copyright and patent protection
Of course, that’s all hogwash. Well, in a very twisted way, he’s right. Hollywood did come about because of strong patent protection, but not the way Dodd seems to be suggesting. Instead, the reason that filmmakers moved out to Hollywood was because it was about as far away as they could get from Thomas Edison, who held the patents on basic filmmaking technology, and demanded exorbitant licensing fees. So the main reason that Hollywood is in Hollywood is because they were seeking a place to hide from patents.
It’s a bit ridiculous for Dodd to try to rewrite this well-known history, and pretend that Hollywood developed because of strong IP protections when the exact opposite is what happened. I realize that Chris Dodd spent most of his adult life as a politician, so perhaps it’s a bit naive to expect him to actually tell the truth, but at some point someone who works for him (I’m sure there’s someone on staff who has accessed the internet once or twice) might want to explain to him that people can fact check him these days with relative ease online. Perhaps the next version of SOPA can be used to block people mocking Chris Dodd’s inane statements as well…