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Former Senator Chris Dodd Set To Head MPAA

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the in-dodd-they-trust dept.

Movies 181

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Hill reports that former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is set to become the new chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, taking over the $1.2 million position and the job of coordinating the policy goals of the various member studios. Interim CEO and president Bob Pisano says the organization's unwavering focus on its top priority will remain: increasing the federal government's efforts to stop online film piracy. The MPAA is optimistic about its legislative prospects this Congress, thanks to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (headed by Dodd's close friend Senator Patrick Leahy) last year before stalling in the full Senate. The bipartisan bill would make it easier for the Justice Department to shut down websites that traffic pirated music, movies and counterfeit goods. While a member of the Senate, Dodd was an adamant opponent of the FISA bill that granted retroactive immunity to telecoms who engaged in warrantless wiretapping."

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Help me out, people... (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277346)

...is this good or bad?

Re:Help me out, people... (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277448)

Depends if your upper class or not: Interlocking directorate [wikipedia.org]

Interlocks allow for upper class cohesion, coordinated action, and unified political-economic power[3]. They allow corporations to increase their influence by exerting power as a group, and to work together towards common goals.[4] They help the upper class maintain a class advantage, and gain more power over workers and consumers, by reducing intra-class competition and increasing cooperation.[2][5] In the words of Scott R. Bowman, interlocks "facilitate a community of interest among the elite of the corporate world that supplants the competitive and socially divisive ethos of an earlier stage of capitalism with an ethic of cooperation and a sense of shared values and goals."[6]

Re:Help me out, people... (5, Insightful)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277776)

"Corporatism" for short. Government leaders and Corporate leaders working together. (whispers) It's also what Mussolini created in his country. (normal voice). Anyway this comes as no surprise to me. Democrats are just like Republicans, but instead of military they work with Hollywood, recording studios, and celebrities.

Democrats have sold-out to the Authors Guild, SAG, MPAA, and RIAA.

And this is why I feel no guilt taking product from these corporations. They bought special privileges from government that they don't deserve to get, rarely pay any taxes on their profit ("what profit? Avatar lost money"), screw the writers/actors that work for them by not paying residuals, and eat-out at the substance of our citizens in onerous life-destroying lawsuits. If they produce a DVD or CD that's good, I'll buy it, but I feel no qualms about downloading everything else for free.

If it were up to me, every corporate license would be immediately revoked. Let them operate as regular companies without the immunity (aka golden parachutes) afforded by limited liability.

Re:Help me out, people... (5, Interesting)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277866)

What I want to know is this: At what point, exactly, did it become lawful for all of the largest corporations of an industry to organize in their collective best interests? How is it that Anti-Trust laws don't take organizations such as the MPAA and RIAA into account? Is it not a tenant of Capitalism, that entities offering the same type of product in an industry are meant to compete with one another, rather than band together to bully their consumer base into making purchases they might not otherwise?

Re:Help me out, people... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277918)

Premises are tenets. Tenants live in premises.

Formally, it's democracy (5, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278066)

At what point, exactly, did it become lawful for all of the largest corporations of an industry to organize in their collective best interests

At the same time the democracy became merely formal, and not real. We have a democracy mostly as a formality. The campaign, elections, and changes in government are carried out. Nobody cares because the results matter little, change little. The parties, candidates, proposals and the policies are fixed outside of elections, in various channels. Real decisions, of things that matter, are made in these various "associations", some publicly known, some secretive, some open meetings that are limited or manipulated, some closed meetings, and so on. The more you want real democratic decisions in a merely formal democracy, the more you will find yourself being pushed towards the side of powerless, parallel, unofficial, or underground organizations. There is really only one principle - whatever the goal, to get real democracy, you *must* get millions of participants. Otherwise you have some small, formal or unrepresentative group. If we'd have a "day of copyright rage", getting millions of civil-disobedience copyright-breakers in public squares, with (logically) police trying to break them up, we'd get real policy debate.

Re:Formally, it's democracy (1)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278488)

What a bunch of conspiracy theory nonsense. 'Parties and candidates fixed outside of elections in various channels'? You mean channels like primaries, which in 2010 were so contentious that we got goofballs like O'Donnell in Delaware despite what the power-brokers in DC wanted?

We have the largest anti-incumbent wave in the United States in recent history. To say 'nobody cares' and that 'results don't matter' just shows ignorance.

Chris Dodd is one of many old-school politicians (and both sides of the aisle have them) who knew that he couldn't win another election precisely because he's in bed with so many special interests -- and Barney Frank, which is not a good name to have on your resume these days. It's shouldn't surprise anyone that he's going to head up the MPAA. He's a political deal-broker and a crook. Those are probably the biggest qualifications to run the MPAA.

Candidates that can't get a word in edgewise (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278536)

'Parties and candidates fixed outside of elections in various channels'? You mean channels like primaries

The MPAA manipulates its co-owned news media [pineight.com] to keep candidates proposing real change out of U.S. primary voters' mind. Look at how Ron Paul wasn't given much of a chance to speak even in those 2008 presidential debates to which he was invited. He ended up mathematically eliminated from the race before the primaries even got to my state.

Re:Candidates that can't get a word in edgewise (0, Flamebait)

BVis (267028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278638)

Ron Paul wasn't marginalized by anyone, he was a looney who was seen as such.

Other candidates would be described as looney (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278790)

And the MPAA would likewise see any candidate for the House or Senate proposing a return to a sane copyright term as a looney. For one thing, a sane copyright term would involve pulling out of the World Trade Organization, as WTO requires TRIPS, and TRIPS requires Berne, and Berne requires life+50.

Re:Formally, it's democracy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278822)

You're proving him with your own counter examples. What exactly do you expect O'Donnell to do? Nothing that really matters, that's what. We have the largest anti-incumbent wave in recent US history today. Is anything important going to change? No!

Re:Formally, it's democracy (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278878)

We have the largest anti-incumbent wave in the United States in recent history. To say 'nobody cares' and that 'results don't matter' just shows ignorance.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about. That "anti-incumbent wave" amounted to a whopping 7%. High by our standards, but still amounts to shit.. And on top of that, all they did was replace dems with republicans and vice versa. That's not "anti-incumbent". It's musical chairs, and rotating villains. So it really amounted to less than half a percent, if even that. Dodd was replaced with another stooge. Don't get your hopes up. He may have lost, but the party still has its death grip. The office will continue doing what has always been doing. The person occupying it is a talking (lying) mannequin.

Re:Help me out, people... (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278072)

Just change the headline to "Fascist dick joins group of fascist dicks" and be done with it.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278238)

If the RIAA and MPAA became outlawed "cartels" by Congress, then so too would other legit organizations like IEEE, ASME, ISO, the Underwriters Laboratory, and so on. (Also such an act would probably violate the first amendment right to assembly.)

Note the forming a cartel is still illegal. It's why the record companies were sued ~10 years ago - for price fixing of CDs, restriction of trade, and forced to issue refunds back to customers (I and other family members received ~$20 checks).

Re:Help me out, people... (2)

todrules (882424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278268)

At the point that our Congressmen started being run by lobbyists. This is a perfect example. My question is "when was Dodd promised this position in exchange for favors?" He's probably been in the back pocket of the MPAA for awhile now, is my guess. I think a lot of Congressmen are, too. Lobbyists and corrupt Congressmen are just the West's version of a totalitarian regime. How long will it take for the US people to take note of Tunisia and Egypt?

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277934)

If you want to stop them then you must stop consuming from them, both through legitimate purchasing and piracy.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278008)

I can understand ceasing to buy their media in the future, but why must you stop downloading it, too? You're not giving them any money, and in almost all cases, they don't even know you exist.

Re:Help me out, people... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278110)

I can understand ceasing to buy their media in the future, but why must you stop downloading it, too? You're not giving them any money, and in almost all cases, they don't even know you exist.

For the same reason that piracy frequently promotes sales rather than reduces them - the network effect. Even if you don't buy, if you like it and you talk about liking it, you've increased the chances that someone you've talked to, or that they've talked to, etc, will buy.

Also, if you boycott the bad guys, you are more likely to fill the void with products from the good guys. Its not just about tearing down the bad guys, its about building up the good guys.

Re:Help me out, people... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278206)

"Also, if you boycott the bad guys, you are more likely to fill the void with products from the good guys. Its not just about tearing down the bad guys, its about building up the good guys."

Does not work. build up the good guys, and they junp to the bad guys side the second the bad guys offer them a pile of money. Want examples? Metallica, Green Day, Ramones, etc....

They were all anti-establishment and against the RIAA and their evil practices until a big pile of money was shoved at them. Suddently you have lars wiggling his uneducated mouth all over the place whining about piracy, something they ENCOURAGED when they were a real band, I have several tapes of their early performances that were what CREATED Them.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278242)

Counter-examples? Johnathan Coulton, Cory Doctorow, for two. "Does not work" is not right, although perhaps a higher-quality product is needed for success than with traditional media outlets who own your soul...

Re:Help me out, people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278504)

Sick and tired of people acting like boycotting does anything useful these days. Boycott something, then they'll run to DC and claim they're too big to fail, or too important to national security. Instead of making a profit off you payment for services/goods they make a profit off your tax dollars.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278740)

It was probably not just hush money.

I wouldn't put it past the MAFIAA to threaten lawsuits or the like if he *didn't* take it.

We've already seen what Sony is willing to go through to get its way.

"Sellouts" (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278884)

Sheesh, I'm tired of people having a problem with small acts growing up. In the mind of people like you, are they ironically too good to become successful?
May not be hardcore anymore, but they're still good rock bands (we seem to just be talking a matter of personal preference.)
Never got the hate for American Idiot anyway, although 21st Century Breakdown was a bit of a dud.

Even if someone talks trash about torrents or has other negative traits not related to their work, I can still like the work itself.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278466)

>>>not just about tearing down the bad guys; its about building up the good guys.

What good guys? (Not musicians but things I care about - like movies, TV shows, and books.)

How do I convince people to boycott the bad guys? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278582)

Also, if you boycott the bad guys

In music: How do I boycott the bad guys when grocery stores pay to play the bad guys' music over their speaker systems? How do I convince people to boycott the bad guys when FM radio plays only the bad guys' music and Internet radio would cost a lot of people $60 per month to upgrade their phones?

In TV series, feature films, and video games: Who are the good guys? Or did you mean boycott these media entirely and <hyperbole>join the Amish</hyperbole>?

Government is a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278108)

I don't see how anyone could believe otherwise. Government is a business with a primary goal of profit, exactly like every other business -- except that government holds the special right to employ coercion as their business model. For this reason they must be kept under STRICT limits, in terms of both power and revenue, or you end up like we have with the most expensive, most wasteful government in world history, the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, a steady elimination of civil rights (of course slow enough that most of the sheep won't notice), open-ended wars designed to enrich the elite at the top of the pyramid, and a world reputation that makes me ashamed to admit I'm an American.

Again, government MUST be limited in both power and revenue, or this is the result. In the end, a government big enough to "give you everything you want" is necessarily big enough to take everything you have.

Re:Government is a business (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278694)

Well, AC, you almost get it. No government can "give you everything you want". You pay for everything you get from the government, and since government is the most inefficient organization around you pay through the nose for anything you get from it. And, any government big enough to do all of that to you is big enough to control every aspect of your life.

Big government, government that claims to give you things, is the most deceitful and corrupt organization there is. The question is, when will /.ers recognize this fact and begin to understand exactly what's going on? Right now, very few /.ers seem to get it.

Re:Government is a business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278906)

No government can "give you everything you want".

10-4 Chief. That's why I put the sentence in quotes.

Re:Help me out, people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278174)

The republicans sold out to all of those groups a long time ago as well. Out it in perspective man.

Republican or Democrat, as a politician they both are scumbags that are actually enemies of the people of the United states.

Too bad the people here in the USA dont have the balls like the Egyptians do. We are a cowardly people.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

stuboogie (900470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278502)

"We are a cowardly people." - Anonymous Coward

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278178)

And both "sides" have sold out to wall street.

Re:Help me out, people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277486)

hahahaha
Now we need to wait for the "parties are all the same" justifications while leaving out that it is constantly the democrats *DMCA* that keep selling out our freedoms for hollywood.

Long.ago and Far Away (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277958)

Obligatory car analogy:

At the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia there was a jalopy race. One of the cars was a former Indy car. It ran away and hid from the pack.

--

I for one welcome our former Senatorial Overlords.

No, The only correct reply is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277564)

We hail our new king, Chris Dodd and wish him succes in his new function.

Re:No, The only correct reply is. (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278082)

We hail our new king, Chris Dodd and wish him succes in his new function.

That would be neat, holding a mock formal coronation-of-culture-king ceremony for someone posing as Dodd.

Re:Help me out, people... (5, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277654)

The Revolving Door is always bad. It's a major tool for vested interests to bribe law makers and regulators to be nice to them. Play nice while you're in office and you get a lucrative gig afterwards. This is why Wall St. isn't in jail, because SEC regulators know they will get million dollar jobs later on. It's why Europe's regulators kowtow to large foreign businesses, over the heads of the economic majority of small-to-medium European firms, because it's how they get lucrative consultancy work afterwards.

So it's bad, yes. Even if this particular appointment isn't worse than any other, it's the signal it sends. "$1.2 per year, be nice and you too could get this".

That pays for a whole lot of college fees for the kids or grandkids.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277984)

Bad, Dodd is fairly likely to use his connections to get legislation strongly biased in favor of the MPAA.

Re:Help me out, people... (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278004)

Look, this is just a way for the film industry to reward an old man for his many decades of service to their bottom lines^H^H^Hhis country.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278222)

Frankly it is neither good nor bad. It is merely unimportant.
Their last ex-politico, a republican, couldn't stop the ship from sinking.
Their present clown, a democrat is the punchline to the joke.
The industry is dying a long slow funky death and I'm sitting on the sidelines with my mp3 player and a beer cheering on their death rattles.
Death to the industry, long live music!

Re:Help me out, people... (3, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278438)

Bad. Chris "Countrywide" Dodd was one of the most corrupt members of the Senate, which is why he quit rather than be defeated last November. He took sweetheart loan deals from Countrywide in exchange for NOT regulating their out of control bogus mortgages, helping create the housing bubble which led to the Great Recession.

But then I guess a corrupt cartel like the MPAA needs someone who knows corruption to lead it.

Re:Help me out, people... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278800)

It just means that now they can pay him *openly*, instead of just through campaign contributions.

Are we surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277350)

no.

Had he chosen to be chairman for the EFF, I'd be surprised. This, however, was simply too predictable.

Genuinely surprised (3, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277354)

I always figured he was on the take and owned by the banking industry. So is he on loan to the motion picture industry, or are they the actual owners of record? Or perhaps a time-sharing sort of deal?

Re:Genuinely surprised (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278196)

As the media companies likely need the banks to fund their latest projects, call it a symbiosis.

Re:Genuinely surprised (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278838)

Why should anyone be surprised that a whore has more than one john?

What is Dodd guilty of? (1)

Chaonici (1913646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277360)

You don't get to lead one of the largest organized bullying organizations ever to exist by being a nice guy. What's his history as a senator? Is he loudly outspoken against teh evuls of piracy? Did the MPAA cut him a big campaign contributions check?

Yeah, the bit about stalling a bill that retroactively gives the OK on ISPs who warrantlessly wiretap is good, but we can't go off of just that. There is always a catch with these sorts of appointments, so let's have the dirt, please.

Re:What is Dodd guilty of? (1, Insightful)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277682)

He was one of the ones that created the rules leading to the collapse of the housing market. THEN he came in and began making the rules to FIX the housing market, blaming the problem on someone else.
I say he's a perfect fit at the MPAA.

Re:What is Dodd guilty of? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277970)

I didn't know he created the deregulation of the derivatives market for mortgage securities (which is what cause the collapse - otherwise it was just an annoying bubble). Or are you simply trolling that he supported the gov't sponsorship of mortgages?

Re:What is Dodd guilty of? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278304)

Yea it must be hard to recurit qualified employees for them. Few people are capable of the congnative disonence required to produce their propoganda.

oh look, it's that method again (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277364)

Government --> lucrative private lobbying position --> contacts in government

Re:oh look, it's that method again (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277464)

You're just jealous because *you* can't afford to buy your very own government officials.

Re:oh look, it's that method again (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277478)

Thomas Jefferson has a sad.

Re:oh look, it's that method again (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277506)

I was a private ("Public") school, old money, old boys' club cunt. In England, that's pretty much necessary and sufficient.

But I hated it and have told pretty much everyone I've known over the years in that environment to go fuck themselves, implicitly or explicitly. So I guess I'm in the same boat as everyone else now. I feel human for it, though. I sometimes lie awake at night wondering whether that counts for anything, but the fact that I'm still alive suggests that some part of me must think it does.

You feel good, but they haven't changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278182)

You dingbat!

You should have played along, got to the point where they trusted you and then fucked them! And if you made more money in the end, all the better!

But noooooooo! You had to stick to principles! With upright people such as yourself, there can be no true justice in this World!

Re:oh look, it's that method again (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278776)

Of course I'm jealous.

It means that my vote as an american citizen is completely worthless.

Don't blame me (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277386)

I voted for Kodos

Re:Don't blame me (1)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277738)

You should have knelt before Zod.

Re:Don't blame me (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277824)

I like Kodos, but Hawkstriders make me laugh more

Re:Don't blame me (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278250)

so you voted for the lesser evil....

Hell Culthulu would have been the lesser evil. Satan calls Chris Dodd for tips.

Corruption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277394)

Corruption? What corruption? Those 1.200.000$ are purely for future services. Got nothing to do with past favours, no sir. Not at all. Excessively high paying consultant/board member jobs for former politicians are just good business. Nothing to see here, move along citizen.

cabbage soup diet (-1)

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MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277454)

Mafia of Police-like Assholes Association?

Re:MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277716)

Around here it's just MAFIA (Music And Film Industry of America). They hold those age-old traditions (government corruption, extortion, subverting democracy, ruining lifes, etc.) very dear after all.

I'm shocked. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277456)

By and by, Chris Dodd was a pretty good Senator. He was good friends with Ted Kennedy but worked with both sides of the aisle. His stands on technology [ontheissues.org] generally opposed mega-conglomerations and proposed net nuetrality legislation. In other words, from what I know about the guy, I'd say he's a friend of "our side".

What he's doing heading the MPAA, I have no idea. Then again, Jack Valenti worked in the Johnson administration. He established the completely asinine ratings system and fought to make video recording at home illegal. I think Dodd is way more clueful than Valenti was-- although at least Valenti was able to keep the government out of censoring films, which it was threatening to do at the time...

Re:I'm shocked. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277476)

As someone who knows nothing about this guy what's the say he doesn't tell the public one thing while acting another way out of sight?

Re:I'm shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277648)

tell the public one thing while acting another way

The term you are looking for is "politician".

Chris Dodd is 68 years old (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277962)

He will be able to leverage his experience by explaining how the industry kept Henny Youngman from stealing Milton Berle's routines on the olde vaudeville stages, where entertainment piracy was born. MP4? Is that the number of Military Police they used to arrest the pirate?

COICA (2)

Unka Willbur (1771596) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277520)

COICA should really be called the Combating Legal, Open Access for Corporate Aggrandizement... or... CLOACA. A perfect fit for Dodd, well-known corporate-whore.

and here I thought (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277808)

that all elected positions in Washington required Corporate sponsorship.

Dodd is just as rotten as the rest but what most people overlook is that even some saintly looking ones get plum jobs for their spouses which tends to influence regulations just as much if not more so.

SNOOOORT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277590)

Wow. 1.2 M. That makes how many snorts a year?

Corrupt assholes. Hopefully populace goes after you after being done with the Mubaraks and Ghaddafis.

When I see that name this is what I think... (1)

takane (1277990) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277610)

Waitress sandwich.

Feel the love (4, Interesting)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277616)

"Interim CEO and president Bob Pisano says the organization's unwavering focus on its top priority will remain: increasing the federal government's efforts to stop online film piracy"

Makes me feel good about getting a flick for a buck at red Box and doing a quickie rip. I didn't used to be this way, I thought five bucks for an older DVD was a good buy, but add the general assholeishness of the MPAA as stated above to that inane FBI warning I have to sit through before the movie starts (anyone else find it ironic that, in the very opposite paradigm of shareware, you get nagged if you pay for it?), and I'm a renter-and-ripper now.

Sure nice to watch mp4's on my phone sans that dumbass warning...

Re:Feel the love (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277920)

"that inane FBI warning I have to sit through before the movie starts"

This was the first thing that *really* turned me on to HandBrake -- I rent a dvd from netflix and I have no choice over which portions of the disk will be played for me? Really?? There must be another option... Oh, look, shiny happy freedom-of-speech software! Take that, corporate-government directorate!

Sure i like previews, but I hate that someone somewhere thought they could *force* me to watch them. You know when the disk has a smudge? When you take it out and have to wipe it off and then must re-watch those 20 minutes of previews _again_? Please remind me who died and made them god...

Rip it good.

US government and corporations (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277674)

They're interchangeable nowadays.

if Dodd runs the MPAA like (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277720)

the way he and Bawney Fwank ran Fanny Mae & Freddy Mac then the movie pirates wont have anything to worry about. the MPAA will be bankrupt or get a government bailout soon,

Re:if Dodd runs the MPAA like (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277744)

or get a government bailout soon,

Sounds like a winning strategy for the MPAA.

Re:if Dodd runs the MPAA like (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278092)

Copyright is a kind of government bailout. But I expect they will try to get more of it.

Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277770)

This move shows the MAFIAA is still putting political cronyism, back-room deals, large campaign bribes err I mean donations above innovation. Dodd is well known for his political maneuvering using his friends and connections.

The old boys club new logo? DHS/ICE takedown image.

damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277784)

bastards.....

Corporate whore... (0)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277896)

Like 90% (or more) of those in congress/whitehouse, and at least 2 in the SC (Scalia, Thomas).

Re:Corporate whore... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278732)

Thomas doesn't need to talk in court because he's told what to decide.

Scalia is pro-state rights until one of those rights conflicts with the interests of his corporate buddies.

This is why we're screwed (0)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277964)

The GOP loves filthy-rich, tax sheltered corporations, so they protect the MAFIAA from that point of view. The Dems are ardent supporters of 'starving artists', so they protect the MAFIAA from that point of view. Meanwhile: consumers are all criminals that haven't been caught (and blackmailed) yet.

Chris Dodd: Ten Most Corrupt Politicians (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278060)

http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2009/dec/judicial-watch-announces-list-washington-s-ten-most-wanted-corrupt-politicians-2009

Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

      1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

      2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

      3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

      4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Throw in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

      5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions – a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

      6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied about his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutinyafter disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack ObamaIn the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich -- later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat -- at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath.

      7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control — through fiat and threats — large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors — this is Obama's "ethics" record — and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

      8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2009 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

      9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks -- tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documentsshow Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

    10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.

Re:Chris Dodd: Ten Most Corrupt Politicians (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278260)

Who wrote up this list, a republican?

Re:Chris Dodd: Ten Most Corrupt Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278326)

Judicial Watch is a conservative organization, but in the recent past they have challeged Republicans including former President GW Bush and former house speaker DeLay.

If you're going after corruption as they tend to do, though, you're going to be going after people in power, and in 2009, that meant Democrats.

Re:Chris Dodd: Ten Most Corrupt Politicians (4, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278844)

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation,

Somehow the words conservative and non-partisan do not go well together. I took a look at the web site and was willing to give some believe that they had no agenda, even though nine of the ten most wanted are democrats. When I saw they were representing "Joe the Plumber" they lost the credibility for non-partisan. With all the lucre flying around, it would stand to reason that more then one republican would have the same level of corruption as these top ten.

If Judicial Watch has all this evidence then please, work to get indictments, bring these people to justice and stop wasting time on Joe the plumber. However, if all you have is innuendo, conspiracy theories, rumors, and circumstantial evidence then please Shut The Fuck Up. Accusing my neighbor of being an extraterrestrial means nothing unless I got a picture of him or her climbing into a spaceship. Barring evidence I would be considered a loon and crazy. Currently, the conservative, non-partisan education foundation looks like the crazy neighbor...prove it, in court.

(God I am so sick of this shit. From Rush, to Glenn, to who on the left...making shit up and spewing it out makes for bad entertainment and clouds any chance to attempts to find out the real truth)

Why would he be against FISA and support the MPAA? (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278088)

It was considered ballsy back in the day to be against FISA. So why would a guy that would be against it, suddenly sell out completely to the MPAA Overlords?

Re:Why would he be against FISA and support the MP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278158)

It's not only a stereotype that Democrats receive massive funding by the MAFIA.

My question... (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278098)

What is the MPAA's definition of "traffic" exactly? I mean, one could argue that making available a link to a torrent of a movie is merely providing a service to those who would like to backup their movie collections. It's not the Pirate Bay or whichever site the kids are using now that's responsible for the use that people make of their service.

There's a lot of PDF books to download and nobody's going against the libraries for providing free books that people can scan.

currupt politicians (0)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278202)

really make me sick, someone shot him quick.

If Dodd ever had an R beside his name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278560)

Dodd is a corruptocrat. If he was a republican then the comments here would be lit up and turned to 10.

Re:If Dodd ever had an R beside his name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278706)

More like 11.

Good luck, MPAA (1)

oldmeddler (1614805) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278702)

If Dodd does as well for the MPAA as he did for banking, they will be bankrupt in 3 years. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

birds of a feather (1)

jbeiter (599059) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278796)

It is no surprise to me that one of the lead democrats that brought us the banking and housing disasters of the century ends up cashing in on one of the biggest abusers of government "strong arming" to benefit industry power. "The fish rots from the head" I hope he rides that bus into the swamp it's heading for.

The revolving door (1)

theghost (156240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278802)

Government official accepts campaign money from corporate interests - legally sound, ethically questionable.
Government official backs legislation favorable to corporate interests - legally sound, ethically icky.
Government official leaves government, goes to work for corporate interests for 7+ figure salary - legally sound, ethically repugnant.
Ex-government official offers campaign donations to new government official on behalf of corporate interests - the cycle is complete.

So is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278810)

a good thing that the Republicans are in charge of the House now? It always seemed like Democrats were too cozy with the "intellectual property" industries...

Re:So is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278850)

True. If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that the Republicans won't be comfortable with anything intellectual.

Timeline? (5, Interesting)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278926)

So, from his wikipedia page, I find out that Senator Chris Dodd was in office from January 3, 1981 – January 3, 2011. That's just over 7 weeks ago, and his successor took over the same day.

If I go to the Office of Government Ethics website [usoge.gov] , I see that they only oversee the Executive Branch, and that in the Legislative Branch, the Senate is overseen by The Senate Select Committee on Ethics [senate.gov] .

A that site, I notice a series of postings about proper behavior regarding gifts, training, and Job Negotiations, Post-employment and Influencing Hiring.

Two documents in particular are of interest. First, we have a Feb 4 2008 Memo on Employment Negotiations and Arrangements [PDF] [senate.gov] . Second, further down the page we have a Sept 25 2007 bulletin regarding New Ethics Rules regarding Job Negotiations, Post-employment and Influencing Hiring [PDF] [senate.gov] .

In the Bulletin, it states that "If Senators want to engage in negotiations or make any arrangements for jobs involving lobbying, they must wait to do so until their successors have been elected. There are no exceptions to this rule... What about for other types of private employment that don’t involve lobbying? The same
rule applies unless the Senator files a signed statement with the Secretary of the Senate within three days of beginning such negotiations or arrangements. This statement, which is public, must include the name of the entities involved in these job discussions and the date they began."

Also, "For two years after leaving office, Senators cannot contact any Member, officer, or employee of the Congress on someone else’s behalf (except the United States) in order to influence their official activities."

In the memo, it reiterates the first item, stating that official notice must be given to the secretary of the senate. Of course, there is no nice web searchable index that I found for the Secretary of the Senate [senate.gov] or the Office of Public Records [senate.gov] . Those might require FOIA requests from anyone who would care to really dig.

Cartel protection racket (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278994)

The MPAA is optimistic about its legislative prospects this Congress

Well, at least we know the politicians will not investigate the ilegal movie and music cartels and their protection rackets. You buy our crap or else.....

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