Hollywood Boosts Campaign Donations
Politics: Total almost doubles as industry lobbies against piracy of movies
and music on the Internet.
From Bloomberg News
WASHINGTON--Led by Seagram Co., the entertainment industry has almost
doubled its donations to federal campaigns in the 1999-2000 election cycle,
as companies seek laws to fight Internet piracy, a campaign-spending
watchdog group said.
The industry has given more than .5 million to campaign committees and
candidates in the 1999-2000 presidential election cycle, compared with .5
million at the same point in the 1995-1996 cycle, according to the Center
for Responsive Politics.
Hollywood has been lobbying in Washington to seek ways to fight growing
piracy of movies and music on the Internet.
Seagram, owner of Universal Studios, topped industry spending with almost
.1 million, the center said. Time Warner Inc., owner of CNN and HBO, was
No. 2 with 7,345, followed by Walt Disney Co. at 3,327.
Entertainment donors favored Democrats over Republicans by almost 2 to 1.
Last week, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner urged Congress
to adopt a law requiring Internet companies to use technology that prevents
movies and other copyrighted products from being illegally duplicated over
The Recording Industry Assn. of America also has been embroiled in
litigation with Web sites Napster Inc. and MP3.com Inc., which let visitors
download music and make their own CDs. Seagram also owns numerous record
labels, including MCA Records.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), who withdrew from
the Republican campaign for president, received the most from the
entertainment industry with 9,193. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Mission
Hills), a staunch supporter of Hollywood, ranked second at 7,748. Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) collected 7,400 and ranked third.
The high-tech industry also has boosted its spending in this election cycle
to about .5 million, the center said. Software company executives visited
Capitol Hill last week to urge stronger copyright laws to combat Internet
The Center for Responsive Politics evaluated Federal Election Commission
data on contributions from television, movie and music companies and
individuals associated with those companies.
Whitney Broussard, Esq.
Selverne, Mandelbaum & Mintz, LLP