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Friday, January 27, 2012

MPAA Discontent With Online Blackouts

A lot of websites throughout the globe have joined the protest against new US copyright legislation called SOPA, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Dexonline.ro, The Cheezburger Networks, and many others. Meanwhile, Chris Dodd, the MPAA’s chairman, claimed that such blackouts were just “an abuse of power” and too “dangerous and troubling”.

In his recent statement, the MPAA’s head called the blackouts a real blow against the efforts of the industry and the government to reach an agreement regarding new anti-piracy legislation. He pointed out that mere days after the government and chief sponsors of the bill responded to the concern of the opponents and consequently called for everyone to cooperate, a number of technology business interests were resorting to stunts which just punished their consumers or turned them into their corporate pawns, instead coming to the table to find solutions to a trouble, which everyone now seems to acknowledge is quite real and damaging.

As for the criticism that the new legislation was being exploited by a number of tech companies, there were some opinions online. For example, Rupert Murdoch announced on Twitter that there was government’s opposition to the bill, with Obama “[throwing] in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters that threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery”. He also called Google a “piracy leader, which streams movies free, sells adverts around them”.

Google responded by calling Murdoch’s allegations nonsense and saying that the corporation believed, like a lot of other tech companies, that the best way to stop online piracy was through targeted legislation which would have required advertising networks and payment processors, like theirs, to cut off websites engaged in piracy and counterfeiting.

Chris Dodd, a strong supporter of both American anti-piracy bills (SOPA and PIPA), claimed that a so-called “blackout” became another gimmick, and quite a dangerous one, developed specifically to punish elected and administration officials working diligently to protect the US jobs from foreign criminals. He also added that it was a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms serving as gateways to data intentionally skew the facts in order to incite their visitor to further their corporate interests.

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