Memo Shows MPAA Wants to Befriend Internet Post-SOPA

The memo says the Internet isn’t “at odds with copyright.”

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Around this time last year, relations weren't too peachy between the Motion Picture Association of America and the community that fought to kill the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have expanded enforcement of those who infringed copyright online. In January 2012, hundreds of sites planned blackouts to protest the legislation, an effort MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd described as "stunts" that were "dangerous and troubling."

[READ: Congressional Offices Continue to Illegally Download Movies and TV Shows]

Today, the language his piracy-fighting group is using is nothing but amicable. In an MPAA memo obtained by Whispers, which is being distributed on the Hill and to third party groups ahead of a copyright hearing this afternoon, the trade association seems to want to befriend the Internet.

"There are those who would place the value of the Internet at odds with copyright. We reject that false choice," reads one section of the memo, entitled "Copyright Supports an Internet that Works For Everyone." The memo asserts that copyright promotes creativity, and that creativity helps grow the Internet. "Good policy stays true to these values, resisting efforts that would pit one against another and recognizing instead that these values are mutually reinforcing," it reads.

The MPAA released a similar memo in 2012, but the association didn't make quite the same overtures for friendship at the time. In an October speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Dodd told members of Silicon Valley: "What I don't want to do is relive the SOPA debate—and I hope you don't either."

[READ: BitTorrent Courts the Entertainment Industry]

MPAA spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield says the MPAA "has always believed" that the "rights of audiences and the rights of creators online are inextricably linked."

Read the full memo below.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at