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.

Best,

Chris
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: bob goodlatte, chris dodd, congress, copyright, copyright reform, fundraising, hollywood, money in politics, political donations
Companies: mpaa


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  • identicon
    Michael, 17 Apr 2015 @ 10:45am

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      You would be a shame if something happened to that $240,000 we could be contributing to your re-election campaign.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shmerl, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:00am

    So, Dodd now wants to put bribery on mass scale? Is there any law to put him in jail for this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      It's not bribery if it is in amounts greater than $10k and coming from large corporations. In these cases, it's called "Campaign Finance" and totally ok...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 2:42pm

      Re:

      I would imagine several. The question would be is there anyone that will charge him, or just pretend it is not happening like usual

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:01am

    Mr. Dodd, those that Hollywood counts on for support are watching very carefully too, and we're not happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:02am

    I wonder how much money they "donate" to keep "donations" legal.
    If they were doing this in the less dangerous places it would be funny but this shit is the reason why the military is still stuck with decades old hardware.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:08am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:12am

      Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

      Without actual evidence, just the patented Masnickal innuendo.

      Dodd's email isn't "evidence"?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:13am

      Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

      Or you could read the final paragraph where mike admits everyone does it and just wanted to give us insight into the process.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

        And it's wrong when the others do it as well. This sort of influence is EXACTLY what is wrong with the system.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re: OMG! Therefore do away with all copyright!

        Well, AC needs to actually read the article first. From his statements, AC either has low comprehension or only read the title before commenting.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      rapnel, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:15am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 2:02pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:09am

    Without a doubt

    Without a doubt, Chris Dodd is the biggest scumbag in the world... First, he authors the sub-prime scandal,... now he blatantly acts as Hollywood's whore and pimp...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:03pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 11:33am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:05pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:14pm

        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".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:05pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 17th, 2015 @ 11:33am

      I think when you suggest that you will lose you job if you don't play ball, youve gone beyond 'fund raising'

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 3:12pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Apr 2015 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re:

        Better yet, candidates should only be funded by individuals living in their constituency. If they are dependent on the people that they are meant to represent for funds perhaps they would start to represent them.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:10pm

    I'm sure Bob Goodlatte will remain totally impartial as he rolls around in his bribe money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:21pm

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      That is unrealistic. Do you know Hollywood accounting? If you can't make money on the movie, make it up in incentives and courts. That requires keeping the politicians greased!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:36pm

    This will never end because Americans are never going to stop buying their crap. Cut off the money and take a bite out of corruption; or STFU...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      Because they've made it so easy and affordable for filmmakers outside of their system to get financing, get distribution, get theatre screens, and get an audience's attention. And if people are successful without their help, it's not long before such people are offered huge sums of money to join them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:53pm

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

    Look at the attachment link at https://wikileaks.org/sony/emails/emailid/110336

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 12:59pm

    USTR lets MPAA do some of their negotiations

    (hat tip to Jamie Love. See
    https://twitter.com/jamie_love/status/588876814942089216 )


    "As USTR has previously advised MOFCOM, the MPAA will be handling the remaining negotiations" https://wikileaks.org/sony/emails/emailid/107079


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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:07pm

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

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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:23pm

      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.

      http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/01/investing/companies-lobbying-10-biggest-spenders/

      https://www.op ensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2014&indexType=s

      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...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:49pm

        Re: Re:

        "Will you admit that you were wrong?"

        Of course he won't. Any comment that includes the accusation that Masnick is employed by Google is intentionally lying (and doing a terrible job at it.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Have an insightful vote for the links, and a funny vote for expecting them to admit that they were wrong.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 1:45pm

      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).

      Source

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 10:45pm

      Re:

      "Masnick's employer Google" and the going on about facts? Yeah, that won't fly, silly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anony, 17 Apr 2015 @ 2:28pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 3:03pm

    ""Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support...."

    its just amazes me that they can be so blunt about their criminal activities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Apr 2015 @ 4:53pm

    'Merika - Home of the best laws you can buy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 6:38pm

    Nobody has the stones to bitch slap this guy? How pathetic is that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2015 @ 6:40pm

    Wait, aren't movie studios all poor and dying as a result of piracy? Where are they going to magic up $40000 just to pay a mouthpiece?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon, 18 Apr 2015 @ 6:02am

    Sounds good

    "Chris, we find this acceptable, here's a check for $184".

    "But it's supposed to be $40,000!"

    "Hollywood accounting Chris, Hollywood accounting."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2015 @ 8:09am

    Im confused

    Is it a government or a corporation

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reality bites, 27 Apr 2015 @ 12:58pm

    The Mafia is way more honorable

    At least when you pay your protection money you actually get something in return. The MPAA and RIAA demand protection money then send the feral lawyers around to burn your place down anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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