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Film moguls' threat to cut Obama funding

SENIOR figures in Hollywood have suggested funding for President Barack Obama's re-election effort could be cut after the White House distanced itself from controversial anti-piracy legislation.

Members of Mr Obama's traditional constituency in the entertainment industry have been angered after he appeared to suggest that proposed laws intended to prevent the pirating of films on the internet went too far.

Chris Dodd, a former Democratic senator who heads the Motion Picture Association of America, said: "Those who count on us for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a cheque for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Mr Obama has found himself caught in the middle of a war between Hollywood and Silicon Valley's hi-tech industries, who oppose the anti-piracy laws saying they are badly drafted and will lead to censorship. A statement released by the White House this week expressed sympathy for critics of the legislation. Hollywood executives are said to feel "betrayed." Several have reportedly pulled out of forthcoming fundraisers. Both Hollywood and Silicon Valley donated around $9m (€7.3m) to Mr Obama's 2008 campaign and have so far donated around $4m this time.

Yesterday, Congress indefinitely postponed votes on the proposed legislation amid eroding political support. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent