MPAA Boss Chris Dodd Talks About Sony Hack & Free Speech... Ignoring How It Revealed MPAA's Plan To Undermine Free Speech

from the wanna-run-that-one-by-me-again? dept

Variety has an amusing interview with former Senator and current MPAA boss Chris Dodd, in which he admits that he should have been "more vocal" in speaking out against the Sony Hack -- which he argues was "an attack on free speech."
“This happened to a member of our family,” said Dodd. “This was an attack on free speech and private property and as the head of the MPAA, I should have been more vocal.”
First of all, I'm not quite clear on how the Sony Hack was really an "attack on free speech" unless you really believe the point of the hack was to get Sony to not show The Interview (a storyline that only showed up well after the hack). But, considering that some of the only real news to come out of the hack was an elaborate mulit-pronged strategy by the MPAA to censor the internet by twisting various laws, that statement is kind of ridiculous.

But even more ridiculous was Dodd's followup, when asked about the Charlie Hebdo attacks:
“If you said to me, what’s the one thing that has been responsible for the 100 years of success of the American film industry, I’d point to one thing — it’s freedom of speech,” said Dodd. “We have always been a great advocate for freedom of expression and speech, and I don’t represent anybody who doesn’t embrace that value.”
Sure, freedom of speech for movies. But, on the internet? Not so much. The MPAA has been viciously attacking the internet at every chance, seeking any opportunity to build a filtered internet that blocks out sites and innovation that it doesn't like, or which challenge its legacy business model. The fact that the Sony Hack directly showed the MPAA itself plotting to censor the internet really makes this statement look absolutely ridiculous. It's the same "I strongly support freedom of speech... for the kind of speech I like" bullshit that we now see coming out of other places as well.

The thing is, I actually do believe that Chris Dodd strongly supports free speech and is against filters and censorship. Back when he was still a Senator and was trying to run for President, he actually gave a talk at Google and chastised the company for not standing up enough to those who sought to censor the internet. That speech is worth watching. In it, he tells Google to take a more principled stand against China's attempt to censor the internet with full site blocking or in requiring Google to block access to certain sites. As he said then:
Tell the Chinese government that will no longer censor information with Google's consent. And should the Chinese government not find that acceptable, then would shut down its operations. I understand that you've already moved all of your search records out of China, to prevent them from being turned over to the Chinese government. But what better way to affirm Google's commitment to the free flow of information as a human right, than to send this message to a nation with the largest population in the world?
And yet, now, his own MPAA is pushing Google to do exactly the same thing that China has done.

Oh, one other statement from that same speech that Dodd might want to remember:
One way we respond to change, in my view, is to stand up, and to stand up for our principles, which do not change.
If only that were true in his case, too.

Filed Under: chris dodd, free speech, sony hack

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  1. icon
    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), 21 Jan 2015 @ 9:28am

    An unofficial MPAA's motto was always We are for free speech, but...

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