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Slow learner? MPAA chief hints at talks to revive SOPA


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Dodd is rumored to have passed these t-shirts out at the last MPAA staff retreat

Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the Motion Picture Association of America, hasn't given up on his dream of censoring the Internet. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he said that Hollywood and the technology industry "need to come to an understanding" about new copyright legislation.

Dodd said that there were "conversations going on now," about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was "not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive."

Asked whether the White House's decision to oppose SOPA had created tensions with Hollywood, Dodd insisted that he was "not going to revisit the events of last winter," but said he hoped the president would use his "good relationships" with both Hollywood and the technology industry to broker a deal.

Dodd insisted that the timing of the federal government's Megaupload raid, which occurred the day after the Internet's anti-SOPA blackout, was a coincidence. He said that the US federal government had long planned the raid for January 19 because Dotcom was planning to hold a birthday party on that day, and so a number of key Megauplaod figures would be present.

In an e-mailed statement, Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn criticized Dodd's comments. "It is simply amazing that a mere two months after 14 million people voiced their opposition to SOPA and PIPA, that the head of the Motion Picture Association of America said the dreadfully flawed legislation could be reworked in the back rooms of Washington," she said.

The chances of SOPA-like legislation passing Congress in the near future seems slim indeed. Indeed, SOPA is now so widely viewed as a fiasco on Capitol Hill that some pols have turned it into a verb: to "get SOPA'd" is to push legislation that sparks a major Internet backlash. Dodd has already retired from Congress, so he he doesn't personally need to worry about "getting SOPA'd." But his former colleagues who are still in Congress are likely to be more gun-shy.

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As long as these people are in power, they will never stop trying to destroy the net. Never.

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