Poor Chris Dodd

The former senator and now CEO of the MPAA can't catch a break: "You've got an opponent who has the capacity to reach millions of people with a click of a mouse and there's no fact-checker." Must be terribly hard to represent the largest media empires in the world, who collectively own all the major newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, billboards, record labels and studios. How will they ever get their side of the story out?



  1. “98% of people who work in the entertainment industry make $55,000 a year”

    So being British I wasn’t really sure what the US figures are but I’ve just googled them (because actually, Chris, there are MANY fact checkers) and this appears to be above average for the working American.  I’m not sure if his figure is accurate (I don’t actually remotely believe it but, amusingly enough, there isn’t a fact checker for his comments so for the sake of his argument we’ll take it as true) but isn’t it just great that the statistic he chooses to defend his case for this poverty stricken, highly threatened industry is one that really doesn’t help his argument.  I could be wrong (and someone who knows more about American wages should correct me) but he appears to be saying that “The vast majority of people working in the industry aren’t moguls or Hollywood superstars – they’re just poor above average earners!”

    1. Last I remember seeing: overall median ~$26k, useless ‘average’ ~$46k, middle-aged dudes somewhere between those two.

    2. I have no problem believing it. Gaffers and grips don’t exactly earn royalties. But it doesn’t help support his point- because it’s not like they earn royalties. So they get paid the same whether or not the movie makes a profit, nevermind piracy.

      1. But the overall point – which is actually a decent one – is that there are plenty of hard working people whose livelihoods might be on the line if the investors in Hollywood decides that the payout isn’t worth the risk of funding entertainment because of piracy.

        Now this argument is one that could be made with actual data, and it’s telling that it ISN’T being made that way.  Instead it’s being supported by made up figures about piracy and imagined pie-in-the-sky scenarios about how much the studios “could” have made if only the evil pirates hadn’t “stolen” so much material.

        But it is something that needs to be addressed.  Because the whole Hollywood machine right now works because investors dump massive amounts of capital into the system to keep it running on the promise that there will be massive, massive payouts in return.  If those massive, massive payouts become just masstive payouts, some average regular people are probably going to lose jobs.  (I’d like to believe that the CEOs of the studios will be forced to take a paycut, but I’ve lived more than 40 years on this planet now and I know that that idea is so laughably idealistic that I can only consider it in my occasional daydreams these days.)

        1. …that there are plenty of hard working people whose livelihoods might be on the line if the investors in Hollywood decides that the payout isn’t worth the risk of funding entertainment because of piracy.

          If those investors were capable of coming up with another way to make money, they would have updated Hollywood’s business plan to accommodate current technology instead of whining about how they’re being ‘pirated’.

  2. 98% of people who work in the entertainment industry make $55,000 a year

    My ass. 

    Do you ever get the impression that this kind of clucking comes from people who see themselves as the responsible adults and everyone else as delinquents?

    I would guess the word “uppity” has found its way into one or more off-camera conversations about this topic.

    It is so much easier to win when your opponent has no power, isn’t it?

  3. So let’s say that 100,000 hypothetical college students pay for a copy of Avatar instead of pirating it.  How many $55,000/yr entertainment industry jobs will not be destroyed?  Or would all that extra profit just go to James Cameron and various distributors, investors, etc?

    Asking for a friend.  100,000 of them.

    1. Thank you for posting that link!

      Here’s the lead sentence (in the paragraph after the topic is introduced):

      “Three widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying studies.”

        1. Nope, but I am recommending that if Dodd is so terribly upset… he should consider stabbing himself in the stomach in shame repeatedly until he dies.  I figure he’s pretty good at stabbing.  After all, he stabbed the back of the American public with no prob.

    1. He’s bemoaning that he has to bribe “fact-checkers” and Congresscritters instead of hitting “submit” on bogus testimony and press releases.  It would be sooo much easier if he could just post as Anonymous Coward!

  4. If I was Chris Dodd, the only job I’d be worried about is my own.  Even if I was a SOPA/PIPA fan (and I’m not) this guy is the Uwe Boll of lobbyists.  Your legislative agenda is falling apart around you, and your best move is to go on Fox News and have a public tantrum at the President for the unspeakable sin of making a (pretty mild) statement you dislike? 

    1. It does seem deeply foolish(I’m assuming severe overconfidence caught them by surprise).

      Tactically, the ‘correct'(if evil) move at this point would be to STFU about the issue and quietly kick it to some obscure trade tribunal with zero public input, an unpronounceable acronym that even policy wonks can’t remember, and alarmingly broad powers. Once they’ve quietly hammered out a ‘framework’ that is based on ‘consultations’ with the ‘stakeholders’ it can be silently voted on somewhere, ratified by executive order under some sort of  ‘fast track authority’ and then the domestic laws of various western nations and allies can be ‘harmonized’ with the new treaty obligation.

      After the surprisingly swift and vicious public backlash, whining on national TV about how mean your enemies are just seems absurd…

      1. Yup – and it’s not as if the actual statement was the work of some cyber-anarchist scrawling REDRUM on the walls of his cubicle in his own poop.  In politics, as in life, you’ve sometimes just got to accept you’ve lost this round and try to move on with a modicum of good grace. 

        It’s also a no-brainer that you never, ever make threats you’re not absolutely certain you can deliver on.  Dodd doesn’t speak for ‘Hollywood’. He knows that; even worse, so does the White House. Loser.

  5. They have no justification for their position. They knew that the public would balk at it when the truth came out so that’s why they tried to ram this crap through beneath the radar.

  6. As someone who watched the entirety Dodd’s heroic filibuster of his own party against telecom immunity for warrantless wiretapping, I’m saddened and disgusted to see what he’s become.

    1. One wonders if off camera we couldn’t see his aide holding up a card showing how many zeros were on the new check they were writing to get him to stay bought.

  7. If piracy is allowed to continue exactly the way it has been, the movie industry will be… exactly as it is now. Entertainment continues to be doing very well thank you. I am not saying piracy is legitimate – it is not. But it is also not causing any perceivable harm to the movie industry. (Remember 2011 when no movies were released?)

    1. I’m waiting for some movies actually worth going to see in theatres. I haven’t paid out the nose for the luxury of being shown a ton of ads and being accused of being a pirate for paying to enter for the better part of a decade, and I’m not missing it at all.

  8. Why is it that the people who have least to pity themselves about are always so damn good at nauseous self-pity?

  9. This is not about piracy, it’s about greed.  There are already many anti-piracy law’s in effect.  Just look back and see how sites like napster have been hit when crossing the line.  No this is about the media’s ability to crush any form of competition or decenision.  To maintain control over anchient movie titles purely for greed.  We are talking about an industry that still charges $20.00 for a DVD of “White Christmas”, a 55 year old movie where everybody associated with the movie is dead.  All the royalties going to a select few and this DOES NOT include movie aides or gaffs.

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