MPAA's Chris Dodd Tells Each Movie Studio To Donate $40k To Rep. Goodlatte's Election Campaign

from the look-at-that... dept

As you may recall, at the height of the SOPA fight fallout, MPAA boss Chris Dodd went on television and threatened to stop funding the politicians who didn’t support the MPAA’s copyright agenda:

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

Given that statement, this little tidbit from the Sony email archives is interesting. It’s Chris Dodd more or less demanding that all of the member studios donate $40,000 to Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s re-election campaign. As you may know, Goodlatte is the head of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives, and copyright falls under that committee. Even more to the point, despite the fact that there’s an “Intellectual Property Subcommittee” (headed by Rep. Darrell Issa), Goodlatte has made it clear that copyright reform remains under his own personal mandate. In this email, Dodd notes that Goodlatte is coming to LA and there’s a fundraiser — and he asks each of the member studios to see if they can put together $40,000 for Goodlatte’s campaign:

Subject: Goodlatte Victory Committee

As you know, for a number of months we have been discussing the political event that Chairman Goodlatte has asked our industry to host in Los Angeles. The event has now been scheduled for November 22. A copy of the invitation is attached. The Goodlatte staff is currently securing a location and I will send that information as soon as it is confirmed.

The event will be in support of the Joint Committee established by the Congressman called the ?Goodlatte Victory Committee.? This event is important and in the best interests of our industry.

A number of you have had an opportunity to speak directly with the Chairman in the past few months, and I know you share my view that he is a good man and we are fortunate to have him at the helm of the House Judiciary Committee for the foreseeable future.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE and it is now incumbent upon us to work together to make this event a success. I need each of you to commit to attending the event and I would request that each studio raise $40,000 for the Victory Committee at this event.

So, please confirm that you plan to attend on the 22nd in Los Angeles, and that you will meet the per studio target of $40,000. It is incredibly important, in my view, that this event be a success and that we have a broad representation of studio executives in attendance. I will reach out to you later this week, but look forward to hearing from you in the meantime.



Now, to be clear, this sort of thing happens all the time. It’s more a function of how money in politics works today. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that plenty of other companies in other industries do the same sort of thing — though, generally speaking, it would be done by the companies themselves, not at the direction of a trade organization. Still, it’s a bit of insight into how the process works that I figured some of you might find rather revealing.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , ,
Companies: mpaa

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “MPAA's Chris Dodd Tells Each Movie Studio To Donate $40k To Rep. Goodlatte's Election Campaign”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Michael (profile) says:

Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.

It would be a SHAME if something BAD were to happen to that cushy job of yours…

Anonymous Coward says:

OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

C’mon, people. If you want to stop the increase of copyright on Populist grounds, that’d be great.

But this is just Masnick implying extra-ordinary sleaze with everything MPAA does. — Without actual evidence, just the patented Masnickal innuendo.

While omits mention of Google lobbying and paying off politicians — and giving NSA “direct access”!

Masnick isn’t consistently anti-corporate, but is pro-Google and pro-pirate.

rapnel (profile) says:

Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

Being that it’s the copyright “industry” holding their boot on the neck of the Internet and attempting to say what, how and where a person can communicate and what they’re allowed to communicate.. from a casual observer point of view.. that “industry” needs to die and if this type of news helps accelerate that ends then so be it. That industry seems to be chock-full of pigs and rats laden with a disease that only spreads.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

First, if you had just stopped at the subject line and not written any body text, you could have gotten an Insightful badge.

Nobody needs to imply extra-ordinary sleaze with the MPAA. The MPAA (and RIAA) proudly attach themselves to sleaze.

Without actual evidence? But the MPAA and RIAA seem to like “without evidence” when it suits them.

Please do not imply that the owner of this site would engage in patent trolling.

If Google is giving the NSA any direct access, it sure isn’t willingly, or publicly.

What is wrong with being pro-Some Business one happens to like? Would you be complaining if someone were pro-MPAA? Or pro-Sleaze?

Being pro-pirate assumes facts not in evidence.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Without a doubt

You really shouldn’t go calling someone a “whore” over this legalized bribery.

In other news today, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster admits sleeping with a top lobbyist for the leading U.S. airline trade association, an organization that spends millions of dollars trying to influence his panel.

Anonymous Coward says:

It is useful to note that the trade industry association here was specifically set up by the major movie studios who are its members, financial supporters, and on whose behalf the association is tasked to operate. While the association serves as their “mouthpiece”, what comes out of its mouth is typically vetted beforehand by the membership collectively. This is, quite frankly, how most such industry associations that I have worked with operate, so what is contained in the purloined email is not at all surprising or unusual.

I express no opinion about the “goodness” or “badness” of fundraising on behalf politicians by industry associations because that is an entirely different discussion. The point here is that the email reflects the “business as usual” norm.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

While the association serves as their “mouthpiece”, what comes out of its mouth is typically vetted beforehand by the membership collectively.

That must explain why Dodd is telling the members what to do rather than the other way around… oh wait…

The point here is that the email reflects the “business as usual” norm.

As noted in the post itself. You might want to try reading before attacking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

What attack? My comment was only that this is the norm in associations set up by large business entities like movie studios.

For example, you mentioned elsewhere that you had insight into the aerospace industry. In the US most aerospace companies are members of an industry association known, quite unsurprisingly, as the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Its initiatives are all pre-decided by the membership, and details are likewise pre-decided by numerous committees, with formal communications expressing membership positions taking place between association staff and government officials (be they congressional, executive, foreign, etc.). This allows companies, rightly or wrongly, to retain that wonderful position known as “plausible deniability”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There should be no fund raising at any level. The govt should have a set forum that pays for the air time for each candidate to deliver there messages. Each of these forums should clearly list the agenda which lists the candidants stance. All statements must be fact checked before they can spew their messages.

Anonymous Coward says:

the pisser is the amount of noise and complaints the studios would make if the public were to donate similar amounts of cash to the representative who wanted to abolish copyright! they wouldn’t put up with that yet the public are supposed to put up with companies screwing them into the ground and removing options they should legally have!

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's their talking points to use with Goodlatte and Hatch

Look at the attachment link at

Here’s one of the suggested questions to ask Orrin Hatch at the fundraiser (The questions are listed right after guidelines about how much $$ to contribute):

6. On the Finance Committee, which Senators should we cultivate as pro-copyright leaders to support your trade agenda?

Translation: How can we get more people like you in our back pocket.

Anonymous Coward says:

USTR lets MPAA do some of their negotiations

(hat tip to Jamie Love. See )

“As USTR has previously advised MOFCOM, the MPAA will be handling the remaining negotiations”

Looks like USTR not only follows MPAA directions, they also let the MPAA do the driving occasionally.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Masnick’s employer Google spends more on lobbying than any other company in America. That is a fact.

We have different definitions of fact.

Google does appear to be a growing spender, but hardly “more than any other company in America.” It appears that the largest single spender (by far) is the US Chamber of Commerce — who is HEAVILY funded by the major studios and took the lead on promoting SOPA/PIPA.

You’re wrong. Will you admit that you were wrong? Let’s see…

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But you won’t hear facts like that from someone that hates actors and musicians, will you?

What are you talking about, you lot say it all the time.

As for dollar amounts, check your source, Google is not in fact at the top, either individually as a company, or overall. No, the #1 spender when it comes to lobbying is the ‘US Chamber of Commerce’, that despite having a name that makes it sound like a government department, is most certainly anything but. On the list of top spenders for 2014 as far as lobbying goes, Google is ranked #9, right below Comcast($16.83M vs $16.97M respectively).


anony says:

What a shame!!!

Do the studios not realise that the more they pay the more Dodd will do everything he can to make the situation worse so that he can demand more to supposedly resolve the issues that he and his cronies are promoting.

I would not be surprised in the least if Dodd had personally spent money on supporting torrent sites so that he can attack them, or supposedly attack them, he is not going to do the right thing and solve the studios problems , he would lose his job and all that wonderful power and money he demands from the studios.

Saying that it is nice to have this evidence of bribery and hopefully anyone looking to take this politician on during the voting season will have fun making many youtube videos showing how this politician is corrupt , paid and controlled by someone with a specific agenda that is not in the public’s best interest, damn it is not even in the studios best interest.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...