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Chris Dodd, Motion Pictures Association call SOPA online protests 'gimmick'

laptop021811_optBY ADELE SAMMARCO
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

What if you woke up one day and there was no Internet?

For those of us who are old enough to remember a world without instant access to information online, we most likely would grumble for a few minutes and move onto something else, while a much younger generation may find themselves lost in limbo.

To demonstrate a world without a Web, dozens of the internet’s most popular websites and search engines, have gone ‘dark’ Wednesday in protest of two bills currently sitting in Congress that are designed to stop copyright infringement on the World Wide Web.

The online encyclopedia giant, Wikipedia, has blacked-out its entire site to its users urging them to contact their representatives with this note:

“Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge: For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.”

While Facebook and Twitter have declined to participate in the online protest, despite their opposition to the House of Representatives' Stop Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's PROTECT Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), the mega sites are expressing solidarity by featuring anti-SOPA content on its home pages.

Google has blocked-out its name to symbolize what the bill may allow content creators to do to websites they accuse of copyright infringement and links to a site that allows users to sign a petition against the two acts.

While Wikipedia blacked-out the U.S. version of its website in protest, it did leave open an explaination of the two acts and the Wikipedia articles for SOPA and PIPA.

The acts would allow the government to require search engines to remove entire websites from their results, leaving no trace that they even existed.

SOPA would even allow the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites accused of copyright infringement without a trial or court hearing.

Calling the protests a "gimmick" and an "abuse of power," former Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, now the CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement, "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," and called for its supporters to, "stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy."

However, Hollywood executives say piracy has become a growing problem, citing an increase in unscrupulous people who steal music and movies, make digital copies that are as crisp and clear as the originals, and offer them for download, often from overseas websites.

Michael O'Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America said in a statement, "For all these workers and their families, online content and counterfeiting by these foreign sites mean declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits."

Moving from behind their computers to the streets, protestors gathered outside the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand in New York, co-sponsors of the Senate version of SOPA. As pressure mounts, both have expressed a willingness to compromise.

Other joiners of the movement include Mozilla, which offers the Firefox Web browser; the Wordpress blogging site; and TwitPic, which allows Twitter users to post images online.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th.

 
Comments (4)
4 Thursday, 19 January 2012 10:38
MarieB
This is what happens when you piss of the Internets: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/lamar-smith-sopa-copyright-whoops

Yes, that's right. The founder of this plan used a copyrighted image on his website. It was taken from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxherder/4189641199/

Watch out Lamar, a piece of Irony Pie is headed right. towards. you.
3 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 19:11
Anonymous
Hollywood got its start stealing intellectual property from Thomas Edison, who owned most of the original patents on movie cameras. He vigorously enforced his patents and created a monopoly on film creation, so independent film studios went rogue and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast where the geographical distance made it more difficult for Edison to enforce his patents and the studios were free to build an industry on intellectual property theft.

http://cinephilefix.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/film-history-the-motion-picture-patent-wars-2/
2 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 17:33
Against The Hollywood .001% Hypocritical Fat Cats
Michael O'Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America said in a statement, "For all these workers and their families, online content and counterfeiting by these foreign sites mean declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits."

Like we are concerned about Hollywood .001%ers having a nominal decrease in income? Get frickin real O'Leary!

You and that fat corrupt weasel former senator from CT - Chrissie Dodd - who chaired the Senate Banking Committee while taking millions of dollars in campaign contributions (legal bribery really) from industry leaders and employees and who got sweetheart loans from crooked bankers all while doing their bidding in Congress expect us to give a rat's tuckus about YOUR livelihoods?
1 Wednesday, 18 January 2012 16:52
GamerLEN
He's panicking, its as plain as day.

Chris knows his bills are rapidly becoming so toxic that no sane congressman will want to touch them so he's trying to downplay the opposition.

Fat chance of that Christopher, I've been watching the newsfeeds for hours now and I'm seeing more and more representatives and senators either voicing their opposition or jumping ship in terms of support (including co-sponsors of the bills themselves).

Today is a day that may well wind up part of history, when we proved if we yell loud enough that Congress will have to listen.

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