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Dodd Calls Internet Blackout “An Abuse of Power”

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd says that Wednesday’s planned protests of anti-piracy legislation are not only “irresponsible” but an “abuse of power.’

Wikipedia plans to go dark along with a host of other websites, and Google plans to feature its own kind of protest on its homepage.

Studio leaders are particularly irked by the White House statement over the weekend that criticized the legislation. Today Rupert Murdoch once again tweeted, “Big bipartisan majorities both house sold out by POTUS for search engines. How about 2.2 m workers in entertainment industry. Piracy rules.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney, however, pushed back against the notion that the administration has picked Silicon Valley over Hollywood. “As far as the interests of private sector actors, I mean, there are legitimate concerns on both sides and those need to be addressed,” he said in the daily press briefing. ” That’s why we need to maintain Internet freedom; that’s why we need to do something serious about online piracy from foreign websites.”

Dodd’s full statement is below.

“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information use their services.  It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.  It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests. 

“A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.    It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.” 

 

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