×

In Google+ Chat, Obama Talks SOPA and Richard O’Dwyer

President Obama this evening participated in a Google+ “hangout,” as he sat in the Roosevelt Room and answered questions via video chat.

Not surprisingly, Obama was asked about the administration’s stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was sidelined after a storm of online protest that the legislation would alter the architecture of the Internet and jeopardize web freedom.

He called on both sides — the bills put Hollywood and Silicon Valley at odds — to come together to come up with a solution that makes sure “that intellectual property is protected” but also does not affect “the fundamental integrity of the Internet as an open system.”

“When SOPA came up on the Hill, we expressed some concerns about the way that the legislation had been written, told folks let’s go back to the table and figure something out that works for everybody,” Obama said.

Steve Grove, the moderator of the web chat, said that the most popular question submitted was this one: “Why are you personally supporting the extradition UK Citizen Richard O’Dwyer for solely linking to copyright infringing works using an Extradition Treaty designed to combat terrorism and to bring terrorists to judgment in the USA?”

The domain of O’Dwyer’s site TVShack.net was seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in June, and he was charged with conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. The U.S. has been trying to extradite him, and earlier this month a UK judge ruled that the transfer of O’Dwyer to the U.S. to face the charges could go forward. His decision is here. O’Dwyer, a college student, argued that his site merely linked to other sites that hosted pirated content.

Obama, however, said that he “is not personally doing anything” about O’Dwyer’s extradition.

“One of the ways our system works is the President doesn’t get involved in extradition decisions and prosecutions,” he said.

According to the UK court, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must confirm the order for extradition, after which O’Dwyer can appeal in Great Britain.

Obama’s answers to both questions are below.

 

 

More Voices

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

  • Black Women in Medicine BTS

    Hollywood Needs to Include People With Disabilities on Both Sides of the Camera (Guest Column)

    In five years, nothing has changed. Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that [...]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    If fiction is the lie that tells a deeper truth, the TV crime genre has been, for the most part, the lie that simply tells a lie. As a storyteller (Veena) and an advocate for racial justice (Rashad), we collaborated for the past two-and-a-half years in an attempt to reimagine the roles of cops, victims, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content