Former Sen. Chris Dodd, now head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), issued a statement Tuesday sharply criticizing the protest blackouts of Wikipedia and other notable Internet sites.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been promoted and supported by Hollywood organizations such as the MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, while Northern California technology firms in Silicon Valley have indicated opposition to the legislation.
Blackouts have been implemented by prominent websites including Wikipedia, Reddit, and Boing Boing.
In his statement, Dodd said that the blackouts are “an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on [the websites] for information and use their services.”
He also characterized them as “an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today” and additionally said that “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.”
SOPA's sponsor, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said that he planned to eliminate the hotly debated section of the bill, which requires Internet service providers to pull sites accused of piracy from the web, and indicated that debate on the controversial legislation would start up again some time in February.
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