A petition has been launched on Whitehouse.gov that seeks an investigation of Chris Dodd and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for “blatant bribery.”
After only one day, the number of petition-signers is rapidly on the rise. As of Monday morning, more than 18,000 people requested that the White House investigate remarks made by the former senator and current CEO of the MPAA, a group that has been vigorously promoting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate.
Dodd recently threatened politicians who opposed or withdrew their support for proposed anti-piracy legislation with a Hollywood boycott of campaign dollars.
The petition is a creation of the government reform group We The People Foundation, and it describes Dodd’s remarks as “an open admission of bribery and a threat designed to provoke a specific policy goal.”
It additionally urges the Obama administration to “investigate this blatant bribery and indict every person, especially government officials and lawmakers, who is involved.”
After SOPA and PIPA were temporarily derailed by Internet companies that went dark, and an increase in public pressure caused members of Congress to reconsider their support for the two MPAA-backed bills, Dodd spoke out via Fox News.
Dodd said, “Those who count on . . . 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. 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.”
Dodd is essentially demanding a quid pro quo for Hollywood’s campaign donations.
Earlier reports in the entertainment trade publications indicated that unnamed Hollywood executives were planning to bring to a standstill any further donations to President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Some opponents of the legislation that Dodd and the MPAA are seeking to pass are talking about a Hollywood boycott. The subject is continuously being discussed on the social site Reddit, the same website that came up with the idea of an online shutdown to protest SOPA and PIPA.
Support for the bills began to unravel after President Barack Obama expressed opposition on the White House website and technology companies protested via the Internet, including the Wikipedia one-day shutdown.
It all ultimately moved Dodd to accuse the technology companies behind the online protest of “an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”
Evidently Dodd and the MPAA are of the opinion that it is appropriate to intimidate elected officials with threats of withholding campaign donations but shutting down Wikipedia for 24 hours is somehow an abuse of power.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood.
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