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Sign the petition to investigate the MPAA for bribery over SOPA

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: MPAA, SOPA, petition

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(NaturalNews) The powers that be sure seem to be pulling out all the stops in their attempt to win passage of the notorious Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA, which - if it ever makes it into law - is liable to force the closure of some of the Web's most popular sites, including NaturalNews.

The latest outrage comes at the hands of former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who is the current president of the Motion Picture Association of America. A petition posted on the White House's "We the People" Web site - one that you should sign if you support Internet freedom - calls for an investigation of Dodd for "blatant bribery," after he suggested in a Fox News interview recently that Hollywood support for President Obama's reelection could dry up because of his opposition to the legislation.

"Those who count on [...] Hollywood for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd said, according to published reports. "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

The petition accuses Dodd of "publicly" admitting to bribing politicians in order to "pass legislation," a violation of law.

"This is an open admission of bribery and a threat designed to provoke a specific policy goal. This is a brazen flouting of the 'above the law' status people of Dodd's position and wealth enjoy," says the petition. Dodd, as head of the MPAA, pulls down a $1.5 million annual salary.

Others agree.

"The MPAA is so brazen in its efforts to buy legislation with campaign cash that its leader, himself, a former senator, sees nothing wrong with threatening legislators on national TV. We think it's time that Congress showed that its votes are no longer for sale," says Craig Aaron of the Free Press Action Fund, a group opposed to SOPA.

A spokesman for Dodd, of course, denies that his bosses' threat amounted to bribery.

"Senator Dodd was merely making the obvious point that people support politicians whose views coincide with their own," said Dodd's mouthpiece Howard Gantman. "When politicians take positions that people disagree with, those people tend not to support those politicians.

Advocates of SOPA, which includes the MPAA and its clients, say it costs the entertainment industry alone billions of dollars a year in copyright infringement. But critics argue SOPA is just a thinly veiled government censorship attempt that would result in the shutdown of thousands of Web sites after a bureaucrat somewhere, sometime decided we are a danger to "public health" (see Sect. 105 of the SOPA bill).

Passage of the bill was the first big legislative lobbying effort undertaken by Dodd, who is finishing his first year as head of the MPAA. He called defeat of SOPA and its Senate counterpart "a watershed event."

For the record, the White House says it will investigate if the petition receives 25,000 signatures within 30 days. As of this writing, nearly 30,450 signatures have been registered, but the more signatures there are, the more important the White House will take this issue.

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