MPAA on the SOPA/PIPA Blackout

 Posted by on 19 January 2012 at 1:00 pm  Activism, Free Speech, Politics, SOPA/PIPA
Jan 192012

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) released the following statement (PDF) about the blackout of web sites to protest SOPA and PIPA. (Emphasis added by me.)

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.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. 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.

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. 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.”

Such words, particularly the paragraph in bold, could be straight from the mouth of that slimy villain Bertram Scudder of Atlas Shrugged. “The gall of these companies to stop offering their free services to the world for so much as a single day! What appalling ingratitude to the state, which is already is so generous in permitting them to operate at all! As for all that disinformation they’re spreading… we’ll have to do something about that.”

Or, as I saw on Facebook:

The MPAA calls the Internet going dark in protest of SOPA and PIPA an “abuse of power.” In related news, the Eye of Sauron accuses hobbits of terrorism.

As I stated in my webcast discussion of SOPA and PIPA, to defend intellectual property rights is hugely important. However, such must be done in the context of a general understanding of and respect for individual rights, including rights to property, contract, and free speech.

It’s a moral crime to attempt to protect some rights by willfully violating other rights. Alas, the MPAA doesn’t or won’t understand that.

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