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MPAA Revenue Grows, Chris Dodd Gets $2.4 Million


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The latest MPAA tax filing shows that the revenue generated by the
anti-piracy group has started growing again after several years of
decline. As a result the MPAA was able to double its legal spending and
increase wages. After some earlier speculation, the filing reveals that
MPAA boss and former Senator Chris Dodd earns a healthy income of more
than $2.4 million a year.

dodd-laughing.jpg

Last year we asked whether the MPAA was dying but today we can report that’s most certainly not the case.

The MPAA’s latest tax filing to the IRS
was published this week, covering the fiscal year 2011. Despite the
long reporting delay, the figures show some interesting trends.


After the group’s revenue was cut in half to $49.6 million during the
previous three years, it started growing again in 2011. The filing
lists total revenue at $60.8 million, which is a direct result of an
increase in membership dues from the movie studios.


Despite the extra income, the MPAA reduced its number of employees
from 247 to 205 in a year. However, the group didn’t cut back on total
employee compensation which rose from $21.7 to $24.5 in the same time
frame, with 10% going to MPAA boss Chris Dodd.


When former senator Dodd was appointed early 2011 the New York Times estimated his salary
at $1.5 million, but this figure turned out to be $900,000 light.
During his first year Dodd received a little over $2.4 million in
compensation.


Robert Pisano, who stepped down as MPAA president in 2011, is placed
second with an income of $1.3 million, followed by MPAA’s Senior Vice
President Michael O’Leary with $530,000.


Looking at some of the other expenses we see that MPAA’s lobbying
budget remained stable at $4.7 million. Legal costs on the other hand
nearly doubled from $5.6 to $10.1 million.


More than two million of these legal expenses was paid to the
Australian law firm Gilbert Tobin, who represented the movie studios in
their case against Internet provider iiNet. The MPAA’s aim in this case
was to hold the ISP responsible for the copyright infringements of its
subscribers, an effort that
ultimately failed in April last year.


Every year the MPAA also hands out several grants and in 2011 this
included $150,000 to both the democratic and the republican governors
associations. The purpose of the grants was to “promote the film
industry” and indeed, in the same year the governors came out as
strong supporters of SOPA and PIPA.


Despite the iiNet loss and the SOPA / PIPA debacle, the MPAA also
booked quite a few successes on the legal front. The group played an
important role in several movie streaming domain seizures and arrests,
as well was the conviction of Anton Vickerman in the UK and the
NinjaVideo admins in the US.


All in all it’s safe to conclude that the MPAA is still a force to be reckoned with.

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