WASHINGTON, March 30, 2011 - Harkening to the days of the director, Cecil B. DeMille, CEO and Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Chris Dodd, directed his first talk as chief of the organization to theater owners in Las Vegas about the importance of preventing movie theft.
Theft from individuals surreptitiously recording movies in theaters and distributing them either in hard copy or on the internet represents the greatest threat to one of the strongest sectors of the American economy, claimed the former Connecticut Senator.
At a time when too many Americans are out of work, we remain a major private sector employers, with more than $140 billion in total wages spread out across a nationwide network of businesses," said Dodd. "At a time when our trade deficit continues to spiral out of control, we are, to my knowledge, the only large American industry that maintains a positive balance of trade with every country in the world where we do business."
Dodd called on members of the National Association of Theater Owners to educate their elected representatives and the public on the dangers of movie theft. He also implored them to support intellectual property protections and crackdowns by the government on rogue websites trafficking in counterfeit movies.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has come under scrutiny in recent months for several rounds of website domain name seizures aimed at stemming the flow of pirated material, such as movies and live broadcasts, via streaming.
Vigilant protection of studios' intellectual property, Dodd maintained, is the primary means of ensuring the security of an industry that provides jobs in every state and the District of Columbia.
Dodd also took the opportunity to support overcoming trade barriers with countries like China, Russia and Brazil to open new markets to U.S.-produced movies overseas.
"The good news about our industry is that whenever we’re given the chance to compete in the world, we succeed," said Dodd. "The bad news is we’re not always given that chance to compete."