A petition on the White House’s “We the People” site that calls for Motion Picture Association of American President Chris Dodd to be investigated for “blatant bribery” has nearly gained enough signatures to require a response.
The White House has promised to issue an official response for the petition if it is signed by at least 25,000 people within 30 days. The two-day old petition already has more than 24,000 signatures.
The petition accuses Dodd, a former Senator, of bribery for suggesting during an appearance on Fox News that President Barack Obama was risking losing Hollywood campaign contributions for opposing two controversial anti-piracy bills, the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
“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,” Dodd said. “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.”
The petition claims that Dodd made “an open admission of bribery” and was flouting the law.
“We demand justice,” it states. “Investigate this blatant bribery and indict every person, especially government officials and lawmakers, who is involved.”
Critics of the anti-piracy bills have said they could break the fundamental structure of the Internet and result in censorship. But the MPAA, which says online piracy costs their clients billions of dollars, has brushed off the criticisms and urged the legislation to be approved.
Support for the bills plummeted after thousands of sites, including Google and Wikipedia, joined in an online blackout protest last week. Dodd described the biggest Internet protest in history as an “irresponsible response” and accused those taking part of “intentionally [skewing] the facts.”
Eric W. Dolan
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