MPAA's Chris Dodd takes aim at SOPA strike
Hollywood's chief lobbyist lashed out at tech companies for mounting Tuesday night's planned online blackout to protest proposed anti-piracy legislation that has pitted Southern California movie and music distributors against Silicon Valley Internet corporations.
Motion Picture Assn. of America Chief Executive Chris Dodd, the former Senator from Connecticut, accused technology companies such as Google, Mozilla and Wikipedia of resorting to stunts.
As part of the largest online strike in history, thousands of websites planned to black out their pages or shut down completely starting Tuesday night to protest anti-piracy bills they feel would limit freedom of speech and saddle legitimate websites with onerous legal costs.
But Dodd called the blackout a "dangerous gimmick."
"It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and who use their services,'' Dodd said in a statement. "It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today."
Meanwhile, NetCoalition, a group of leading Internet and technology companies, announced that it launched a radio advertising campaign highlighting the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
"We want to let people know that these bills will harm American jobs and our economy by stifling innovation and chilling investment in one of the few industries growing and hiring,'' said Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition.
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: Motion Picture Assn. of America Chief Executive Chris Dodd. Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images