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Motion Picture Association Praises Republican Party Platform

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, August 29 2012

Chris Dodd, a Democrat and chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, the group that was pushing the controversial Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts earlier this year, issued a statement Wednesday praising Republicans for its newly-adopted stance on Internet freedom:

“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 Republicans didn't specifically mention IP as part of its Internet freedom platform, although it did allude to it elsewhere in the party platform document in a section about international trade and IP enforcement in China.

In that light, Dodd's statement appears to serve as a reminder to the Republicans that in the MPAA's view, copyrights are just as important to innovation as an open, free Internet.