MPAA calls blackout protest a ‘dangerous gimmick’
The Motion Picture Association of America, the film industry’s largest lobby, is not happy about the growing opposition to two anti-piracy bills being considered by the U.S. Congress.
Critics of the bills have said they could break the fundamental structure of the Internet and result in censorship. Internet-base companies like Google and Yahoo oppose the bills, saying they would put U.S. tech policy on par with “China, Malaysia and Iran.”
Over the weekend, the Obama administration expressed its concern as well.
A number of websites, including Wikipedia and Reddit, plan to shut down on Wednesday to protest the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
But the MPAA, which says online piracy costs their clients billions of dollars, brushed off the criticisms of the bills in a statement released Tuesday.
“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,” former Sen. Chris Dodd, the CEO of the MPAA, said.
He described the blackout protest as an “irresponsible response” and accused those taking part of “intentionally [skewing] the facts.”
“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,” Dodd added. “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.”