MPAA Chief Chris Dodd Likes Republican Language On Internet Policy

The scepter of free speech and the protection of intellectual property via the internet reared once again, nearly a year since the Motion Picture Association of America-supported legislation first landed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, only to be resoundingly defeated after a well-coordinated backlash by internet heavy-weights Google Wikipedia and others. MPAA chief Chris Dodd, himself a former U.S. Senator from Connecticut (and a Democrat to boot) gave a thumbs up to the Republican Party's platform language on intellectual property and the internet.

Said Mr. Dodd today via an MPAA release:

The Republican Party platform language strikes a very smart balance: it emphasizes the importance of us doing more as a nation to protect our intellectual property from online theft while underscoring the critical importance of protecting internet freedom.  As the party points out, the internet has been for its entire existence a source of innovation, and it is intellectual property that helps drive that innovation.  Copyright is the cornerstone of innovation; it allows creators to benefit from what they create.  As Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor – herself once a Republican elected official – wrote, ‘[I]t should not be forgotten that the Framers intended copyright itself to be the engine of free expression. By establishing a marketable right to the use of one's expression, copyright supplies the economic incentive to create and disseminate ideas.’

I agree wholeheartedly with my friends in the Republican Party that we must protect the free flow of information on the internet while also protecting American innovators.  It is imperative to our national economy and our national identity that we protect an internet that works for everyone.

The Republican platform spells out its interpretation of "Internet Freedom" including its opposition from shifting away from a "multi-stakeholder" approach to internet governance:

The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.

Additionally, the Republican platform said regarding "foreign theft" of intellectual property: "Punitive measures will be imposed on foreign firms that misappropriate American technology and intellectual property."


  • Baco Noir says:

    Though I don't tend to support the Republicans, they sure had be on their side with this until the last line.

    "the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector."

    Then I laughed and laughed and laughed.