Petition Calls for MPAA Chief to be Investigated for SOPA Legislature "Bribery" Comments
Published: January 23, 2012 - 8:47am
When Congress put the kibosh on both SOPA and PIPA, Chris Dodd (a staunch supporter of both bills) made a statement to the press that is now being scrutinized as an open admission of Hollywood bribery.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) as well as the similar Protect IP Act (PIPA) bill are, for all intents and purposes, dead in the water. Supporters of SOPA include major arms of the film, music, and gaming industry, who say that drastic measures must be taken to protect copyrights from illegal pirating on the web. Unfortunately, the bills, which would have allowed for the federal government to investigate, block or disable any worldwide website visible in the US, were considered by many as an infringement of American civil liberties and a major detriment in the advancement of technology. Last week, Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing and other popular websites staged blackout and "censoring" protests to bring national attention to the predicament. This attention was quickly garnered, and less than 24 hours after the protests commenced both bills were shelved by Congress.
Former Senator Chris Dodd -- who is now the Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), one of the bills longest and staunchest supporters -- spoke out against the blackouts in an official statement, calling them gimmicks" and "stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns." [Click HERE for the full statement]. After SOPA was shelved, Dodd decided to issue another statement on television which has caused a major stir:
"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' 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," said Dodd. "Don't ask me to write a check 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."
According to the Los Angeles Times, that statement is now the focus of an online petition at the official White House website whose purpose is to request the government investigate "an open admission of bribery and a threat designed to provoke a specific policy goal. This is a brazen flouting of the 'above the law' status people of Dodd's position and wealth enjoy."
In response, MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman said: "Senator Dodd was merely making the obvious point that people support politicians whose views coincide with their own. When politicians take positions that people disagree with, those people tend not to support those politicians."
For more information regarding the petition, which has quickly claimed over 17,000 signatures, click HERE