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MPAA's Dodd warns Washington not to let pirates sink PIPA/SOPA

January 20, 2012 |  9:41 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision on Friday to put off a vote on the controversial Protect Intellectual Property Act in the Senate next week was hailed by Silicon Valley but brought a stern warning from Hollywood's chief lobbyist.

"As a consequence of failing to act, there will continue to be a safe haven for foreign thieves; American jobs will continue to be lost; and consumers will continue to be exposed to fraudulent and dangerous products peddled by foreign criminals,'' Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, said in a statement.

The MPAA strongly backed the the bill intended to crack down on foreign websites engaged in piracy.  But the legislation, along with a similar measure in the House, has encountered enormous opposition from Google, Wikipedia and other tech companies that led an unprecedented Internet strike on Wednesday to protest the bills which they view as misguided and damaging to the Internet economy. The protest prompted several senators to back off their support for the bills.

"With today’s announcement, we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property,'' Dodd added. "The threat posed by these criminal operations has been widely acknowledged by even the most ardent critics.  It is incumbent that they now sincerely work with all of us to achieve a meaningful solution to this critically important goal.”


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-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Motion Picture Assn. of America Chief Executive Chris Dodd. Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.