MPAA issues statement slamming SOPA/PIPA "blackout" protests as "dangerous gimmick"


123 Responses to “MPAA issues statement slamming SOPA/PIPA "blackout" protests as "dangerous gimmick"”

  1. Mujokan says:

    “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”

    I heard the theme from Jaws playing in the background.

    • MrsBug says:

      I had a big “Bwwahahaahhahaha” moment at that. “Abuse of power” indeed!

      • Jerril says:

        Gave me the giggles too. “It’s an abuse of my power for me to shut down my website!”

        • petsounds says:

           It is rather ironic. It’s similar to the government’s position on suicide — if we kill you, that’s our right, but if you kill yourself, that’s a crime against society!

    • ill lich says:

      ” It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the
      marketplace today.”

      He then added, “freedoms which this bill will most certainly curtail!”

      (well, he *should have* added that last part.)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It’s like when China announces that some other country has “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people”.

  2. jgs says:

    Irony overload.

  3. Yeah, we’re furthering our corporate interests by taking down our website and its ads, to stop a law that the MPAA says can’t harm our website.

  4. Aaron Swain says:

    And if there’s one thing congress knows about, it’s hyperbole.

  5. AwesomeRobot says:

    “to find a solution to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging” 

    Really? All?

    • Deidzoeb says:

      Yes, all, in as far as those who agree with him are “people” and deserve to be counted, and those who disagree are “unpeople”, so no need to count them. It’s amazing how many claims by politicians and corporate apologists (but I repeat myself) begin to make sense when you assume this is what they mean.

  6. arp says:

    a very slight change of a few words and you get the argument against SOPA/PIPA….

  7. Steve Downey says:

    Former Senator Chris Dodd is actually Chairman and CEO of the MPAA.  So, technically, it’s not shilling for the MPAA.  He is the MPAA. 

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Fair point, I’ve edited. I think one can be employed by and still shill for, but it’s more informative to describe Dodd by his position in that opening line. It is also correct to still use the abbreviated honorific, though you are correct that he is no longer representing the public as a senator.

      • *He* uses it, and the way it’s used in the letter, it sounds like you can be a Senator AND be Chairman & CEO of the MPAA, all at the same time. To say “conflict of interest” is not hyperbole.

      • It might be “correct” in the United States, but it sounds pretty fucking weird seeing Dodds using the honorific due to an elected legislator when he isn’t, let along while acting as a corporate lobbyist. Down here in New Zealand, we have five living former Prime Ministers.  The electors downsized them from that office, so they’re no longer entitled to the honorific. 

  8. “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.” – He just described the Congress.

  9. Mujokan says:

    The Wikipedia blackout story is just coming up on CNBC.

    Ars is reporting TwitPic and WordPress are also joining.

  10. I swear I felt sick to my stomach while reading that, no exaggeration.

  11. brikah says:

    So a blackout is a dangerous gimmick unless it’s initiated by the corporations, errrr, government? What an asshole.

    • Ted Lemon says:

      That’s right.   You have to remember that this is all about control.   If the RIAA or the MPAA blacks out Wikipedia, that’s okay, because it’s under their control.   But Wikipedia has no right to black themselves out.   Neither the RIAA nor the MPAA told them to do it.   Hence, “abuse of power.”

  12. hnice says:

    Dude, eff the factual debunking — on size of entity *alone* this is a joke. I mean, the MPAA vs. Google, Wikipedia, AOL, eBay, FB? Against, what, the *movies*? There’s still The Movies? Who does the MPAA think it is?

    • Walter Dexter says:

      I agree 1000%.

      I have probably seen one movie in a theater in the last year.

      (It was The Muppets.)

      • Gyrofrog says:

        Ha! Last first-run film I saw in a theater was ‘Insomnia’ (the remake with Al Pacino).

        What do I win? (Other than not paying $4 for Milk Duds)

      • templarsmonochromata says:

        Wow, you’re lucky.
        I AM angry about the lack of origionality we’re seeing these days
        (Batman! Remake X! MUPPETS…AGAIN! TERMINATOR 8!) and remakes, but how many of you poor souls paid money to see…
        Indy the remake?
        (Yes, it only arrived on OUR shores last year, thankyou for the staggered release system, MPAA!)

  13. From stalwart  liberal/progressive icon to shameless corporate shill, liar and fraudster.  Oh, Chris Dodd, we had such high hopes for you and now you are such a pathetic disappointment. 

  14. philipd says:

    The media industry’s push for SOPA is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. 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.

  15. Yes, because fighting piracy by outlawing the sea isn’t hyperbolic at all

  16. Ted Lemon says:

    Wow, this statement is just so full of ironic win.   Wikipedia is irresponsibly looking out for its corporate interests?   *boggle*

  17. dunkyboy says:

    what a fucking numpty :(

  18. Andrew Singleton says:

    This guy managed to out-stupid the chewbacca defense. Can we dub this the ‘Dodd Counter’?

    Also the crybaby image is full of win.

  19. CSMcDonald says:

    Next up they’re going to push for a law banning sites from protesting by shutting down – I imagine they’ll justify it as a for the public good and protection of interstate commerce issue.

  20. SCAQTony says:

    Dangerous gimmick?  - No way, Mr. Bought-&-paid-for pants!  More like a preview of things to come if SOPA and PIPA do pass!

  21. Deidzoeb says:

    “to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

    wtf bbq? The only people who infringe on copyrights are foreigners?

    Dodd learned this rhetoric from South Park:

  22. Random_Tangent says:

    Dodd’s phrasing reveals exactly what’s been skewed in the collective government psyche. “[T]he freedoms these companies enjoy…” That sentence, to me, has an underlying threat. Dodd doesn’t see freedom as the inherent liberties supposedly enjoyed by all mankind, but as things-we-allow-you-to-do-for-now.

    It’s Congress that needs to have its freedoms restricted. 

    And it’s outrageous how easy it is to buy Congress’s ear. I wonder what the CEO of the MPAA is making these days? 

    If only some prominent congress-person would take a job as CEO of Frito-Lay/Pepsico, we might actually get marijuana legalized in an efficient manner.

    • Ted Lemon says:

      It’s not really a threat—more of a lamentation.   After all, the whole point of this law is to remove those freedoms.

    • Guest says:

      The statement you point out above, 
      “[T]he freedoms these companies enjoy…,” is absolutely appalling to me!  You nailed it — this is a threat by a (former) Senator to simply take away those freedoms IF THE COMPANIES  DON’T DO WHAT HE WANTS.  

      And, read his last sentence,  “It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”  He is going crying to OBAMA to FORCE THE WEBSITES TO STAY LIVE!  

      WOW — am I living in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged??

  23. Daniel Kipnis says:

    “SOPA and PIPA won’t destroy the internet!  Hulu will still be around!” -Chrust Dudd

  24. foobar says:

    If the activities targeted by these laws were actually illegal, then the existing legal infrastructure could be brought to bear against them. That they’re being called for at all demonstrates that they want to punish lawful activity that they do not like.

    Americans, mind your own business. Activities that take place beyond your borders are none of your concern.

  25. jamietie says:

    When the MPAA accuses people of distorting facts to further corporate agendas, George Orwell rolls over in his grave.

  26. Mordicai says:

    I wonder if there could be any harmful repercussions to electing corporate shills & allowing our elected officials to then go on to become corporate shills.  Might there be a chance that somehow, in the middle, the previous shills & future shills…might still act like corporate shills? Nah, that is crazy, no need to regulate that! 

  27. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    I’m sorry, from a group saying everyone else on the internet only profits from stealing his hard work he should be patting himself on the back for this.
    With all of these rogue websites dark they should earn BILLIONS that day as people are forced to their system for supplying consumers what they wanted…. 6 months ago.

  28. Ken At Popehat says:

    The MPAA is steadily becoming the Westboro Baptist Church of internet-related discourse.

  29. MRKiscaden says:

    Says former SENATOR Dodd… the man who got to his position of power from working in a government body famous for minority obstructionism via the Filibuster.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  30. clpolk says:

    who, precisely, does this idiot think is going to fall for that? that statement was so ridiculous the only response worthy of it is ‘lol, y u mad tho?’

  31. Graysmith says:

    Again, why isn’t someone putting together a Hollywood movie boycott? Ditch the multiplexes for a couple of weeks and see how they respond.

    • trefecta says:

      They’ll just blame piracy when another solid piece of cultural gold like Battleship fails to meet the quota they made up based on if everyone in america went to see it. That, or try to pass laws that require the american citizen to go to the movie once a month or face jail.

  32. Wow!  How dare you abuse the freedoms you enjoy by daring to protect the freedoms you enjoy!

  33. Senator Dodd, behind the counter of your local bar, drycleaner, dog groomer, or other free marketer, you’ll see a sign: “We reserve the right to refuse service.” Shops and other establishments can close whenever they like, and they can refuse service to those who are being disruptive. Like you. It’s one of those freedoms you purport to cherish so greatly.

  34. lightsgeek25 says:

    He’s right that they are protesting in their own interest.  Just like the MPAA want’s it to pass to protect their own interests.  DUH!

    He does realize SOPA doesn’t actually adress the social issue that causes piracy in the first place and that SOPA won’t stop it either.  All it does is give him power over us. Everyone else is objecting to giving him (the MPAA) the lock and keys. Sad thing is that I’m pretty sure they are aware of it and that their vision of reality is that warped that they think this is acceptable behavior.

    I should be more impressed that people in the government think this is OK to give them that kind of power.  But lately…

  35. Pandertroll says:

    Leave a comment on his site:

    How did Dodd’s work as a corporate shill affect your life?

  36. Evan Gregory says:

    Ah yes, those big evil websites are just concerned about their corporate interests, unlike the MPAA who is just selflessly looking out for the average decent hardworking copyright holder. 

  37. sarahz says:

    Wasn’t the message from them a few days ago that anti-SOPA/PIPA sentiment was from a vocal minority, and thus not worthy of Congress’s attention?  If that’s the case, then that vocal minority being silent for a day can’t be “damaging”, because the absence of someone/something unimportant should be exactly that – unimportant.  If they’re too puny to be worth listening to, then they have no power to abuse,  so it can’t be “an abuse of power”. 

    A community can’t be simultaneously totally unimportant and vital to day to day life. 

  38. Karl Pilkington, the time has come for Bullshit Man to pay all these asshats a visit.

  39. Kaibaman says:

    The Irony in this statement is funny….it shows their truly afraid of us! Hey MPAA at once you held all the Power but it is now we the populous hold the Power over your greed and corruption..We will destroy you MPAA and RIAA over your evil deeds

  40. Steven Barrett says:

    So…he is mad because “Hey! We’re the only ones allowed to abuse power around here!”

  41. GonzO Rodrigue says:

    I still think that the whole “blackout” idea is a really dumb way to protest SOPA and PIPA… but I have to admit, I’m going to get a kick out of it now that I know the MPAA is annoyed enough about it to post this.  

    • GregS says:

      I’m sure these site operators would be open to suggestions for other ways to protest SOPA and PIPA if you have any. The thing is, what else can they do to catch the public’s attention, when the mainstream media is ignoring the issue and Congress is determined to ignore all opposition?

    • t3kna2007 says:

      It seems to me like it’s working pretty well, because Wikipedia’s decision seems to be the trigger for widespread coverage in traditional/mainstream media, defined as something my parents and extended family are likely to notice, in this case being NPR.

      I’ve been asking people if they know what SOPA is, and the response so far has been a universal “lolwut?”, for people who don’t work in online industries, so I consider this progress, thanks to Wikipedia, BB, and everyone else pushing this issue.

      NPR is framing it as Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley.  I’d rather hear it as Big Media and their bought-and-paid-for regulators vs. humans.  (Waves at Chris Dodd!  Hi Chris!)

    • TimRowledge says:

      I agree – but only because I think it is the wrong people doing it. Surely the real way to hurt the right people would be to use whatever mechanism is needed to shut down access for all the SOPA supporting sites. Make them invisible and also make the entire net invisible to them. Maybe with the twist of allowing them access only to other SOPA supporter sites.
      Add warnings for everyone else – ” this site would be invisible under SOPA” etc.

  42. Guest says:

    Can we be sure to re-publicize the names of SOPA-supporting come election time?

  43. BTW, if a bunch of draconian laws get passed it may actually bring back an activity I remember fondly from my youth:  burn parties.  Instead, this time around, it would just be data transfer parties.  Bring a few 2TB drives, gigabit ethernet cable, a power strip and some beers.

    I wonder who old man Murdoch would claim is furthering piracy then?  Hitachi, Western Digital, Segate and Maxtor?  Cisco/Linksys, Netgear, D-Link and the like?

    I suspect that some day the US government is going to end up bailing out the film and tv industries, just like the air travel industry, because they’re too important and too big to fail.

  44. GregS says:

    So, giving the government the power to block access to domains based on mere allegations of copyright infringement is not abuse, but making your own site unavailable for a day is?

  45. awjt says:

    I’m serious: Fuck those guys and the RIAA too.  I’m not for “piracy” or stealing from artists and the legitimate companies representing them.  But I am against heavy-handed Spanish Inquisition tactics that have an inherent incompatibility with our basic freedoms and seek to criminalize trivial behavior.  Fuck all those people.  Seriously: FUCK THEM.

  46. acidrain69 says:

    “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.”

    Who is furthering who’s corporate interests? Crawl back in your hole, Mr Dodd.

  47. teapot says:

    Instead, this time around, it would just be data transfer parties.

    BTW Xeni, best featured post pic ever.

    List of companies supporting this joke of a law:

    Record labels who support it:

    Can someone with some programming smarts please make a Firefox plugin that automatically firewalls all of these company’s IPs so I won’t accidentally browse their site and fuel their visitor stats. Payback is all these fuckheads understand.

    My payback is gonna come in the format of widespread and excessive offline sharing- then what’s your SOPA gonna do, assholes?

    • thecleaninglady says:

      For your quick reference, just a few you may recognize: 

      The Walt Disney Company

      Tiffany & Co.

      Time Warner Inc.

  48. thecleaninglady says:

    “designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals”

    Who are these administration officials?? We want to know!

  49. Even beyond the sheer irony of his basically stating that companies shouldn’t black themselves out in protest to a bill that will allow the government to black them out, it is *infuriating* that he would:

    A) Use his honorific title for this, and
    B) Flat-out misrepresent the fact that the blackout has been planned well before  the president came out against SOPA.

    It has to be said…

    Christ, what an asshole.

  50. Seven2521 says:

    Corporations cannot FORCE me to do anything. Government on the other hand, can. Not to mention that I see no reason whatsoever to grant even more power to that entity responsible for the Department of Motor Vehicles, the United States Postal Service and the American public school system.

  51. Franco Castro says:

    I love the picture, I’t couldn’t be more apropiated…. So… who is power abusing? Do they hear themselves when they speak?

  52. Palomino says:

    Fuck you  Chris Dodd, is see blackened cable channels protesting something all the time. 

  53. mtnrunner2 says:

    The MPAA calling protests an “abuse of freedom” is incredibly perverse and just shows they don’t understand freedom and how individual rights should work in a free country:

    What’s an abuse of freedom is SOPA and PIPA. It’s like forcing the phone company to change the phone book, and the US Postal Service to change their address records, to combat a suspected thief living in the neighborhood. Those agencies are not responsible for any theft, and neither are DNS services.

    What we seem to need is enforcement agencies who are up to the task of tracking down servers. What would be reasonable is asking for the location of individuals and servers from pipeline providers, which is pretty much like the police knocking on an apartment building with a warrant as asking “can you tell us where this person is?” or having a search warrant. But acquiring location information is totally different from say, forcing someone to block off a street because a criminal might use it.

  54. honestly, can anyone clarify for me the argument about whether this could affect US websites or not? 

    seems like anyone who’s for this shit is ONLY sticking to one bullet of one gun: that it will not and cannot affect websites based in the US because it only targets “foreign pirates” — please confirm or deny, with a citation? I’m so fucking confused.

  55. Steve says:

    “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.” – Former Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)

    Skew the facts? You mean like telling the world how badly piracy is hurting your industry, yet posting record profits every year? You mean like that?
    Or, like telling people in the US that international piracy is the reason so many trades people in the American movie industry are losing their jobs while moving more and more productions out of the US to exploit cheaper labor abroad? The trades people in show biz based in Vancouver and Toronto are doing just fine I assure you.  

    If Former Senator Dodd could just be a little more specific about which facts are being skewed and by what side, oh and maybe if he could be less of a hypocrite while he’s at it. I’d really appreciate it. Though I’d still oppose SOPA and PIPA. 

  56. Will Bueche says:

    “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”

    I feel the same way about region-locking movies.

  57. D Wyatt says:

    It will never cease to amaze me the EXTREME HYPOCRITES in our world.
    Pay your taxes you “good american taxpayer” but ill be damned if the Gov will balance its books even a little.
    Dont smoke weed, but the “powers that be” feels perfectly free to import weed heroin and cocaine by the tonnage.
    DONT SHUT DOWN THE “INTERNETS” EVEN FOR A DAY, that is ABUSE.  But we will reserve the right to CENSOR AND REMOVE FOREVER anything we dont like.
    You have the freedom of speech, just dont use it where others may hear.
    ANYTHING you say can and WILL be used against you but at absolutely no time will ANYTHING YOU SAY be used IN YOUR DEFENSE.
    Dont “LEAK” information about the government/military’s involvement in child prostitution and US on US murders or else they will try to kill you.

    Do they really, honestly, and truly think that the entire population is unable to think for themselves?  Do they really believe that 99% of America buys the shit they shovel?  The informed surely do not, and now even the less informed can see right through them due to their complete lack of intelligence.  It used to take years to figure out what strategic bullshit they had pulled, now they just blatantly tell you and admit that your opinion doesnt matter and that everyone should just accept our being ruled like pathetic animals.

    • TimRowledge says:

      Do they really, honestly, and truly think that the entire population is unable to think for themselves?

      Yes. The evidence is alarmingly good. Just look at the politicians and laws that get supported.

  58. vinegartom23 says:

    Well, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle blackout.

  59. Lefty68 says:

    At the risk of sounding complaisant, this tells me that we’re winning. The MPAA wouldn’t have bothered with this nonsense if it weren’t worried. A week ago, this legislation seemed assured of passage; now, maybe not. This is shaping up to be a (well-deserved) disaster for Chris Dodd’s lobbying career.

  60. Cookie says:

    So, the fact that we petitioned for those websites to do these blackouts is just being ignored? 

  61. D. Keith Higgs says:

    Start collecting the IP addresses of your favorite sites today. For those few BoingBoing readers who don’t know what that is… and this is based on IPv4 but is still accurate.

    The Internet works on a system of numeric addresses which are usually presented as groups of 4 numbers separated by periods. each of the 4 numbers ranges from 0 to 255. Domain Name Servers (dns) provide the service of translating between the name address you enter ( to the IP address (http:// and back again.

    If SOPA/PIPA become(s) law there is a distinct risk that some day a false accusation will be made that a reader comment on BoingBoing includes a link to download the latest Justin Bieber video release and DNS service providers will be instructed by the AMPAS/MPAA Lawyer Army to de-list “” and/or “” and the only way you’ll be able to get your daily dose of Jardin, Doctrow, Koerth-Baker, Frauenfelder et al will be to actually know the native address…

  62. Anthony Malloy says:

    “foreign criminals”. I bet he was itching to say ‘terrorists’ but someone talked him out of it.

    • From what I remember of the informative mini-movies that this chap has forced onto  DVD’s, all the money I theoretically spend on copied DVD’s goes directly to terrorists.  Not to that cockney guy in the pub that burns cine-rips uploaded by cinema employees, no, but TERRORISTS!  Because Al-Qaeda’s biggest motivation isn’t to cause disruption in western society or to bring terror to its people, it’s to make a few bucks off copied DVD’s, OBVIOUSLY.

      This guys is so full of shit it’s pouring out of his ears.

  63. edthehippie says:

    ah yes , the ol’ ” when we do propaganda and get our doctors to spin and issue statements , it is a Good thing , and when You do propaganda and get your doctors to spin and issue statements , it is a Bad thing ” ah , hahrharhahrharhrhahrhraharhrahrahrahrhrah

  64. Well if the MPAA doesnt like it, we must be doing something right..

  65. i sentence each and every person in the united states to one viewing of “coupon: the movie”…and may god have mercy on your soul.

  66. Swainhart Tresch says:

    Chris Dodd is a tool.

  67. Jon Allan says:

    If you cut your worker’s pay, will they not protest? Will they not strike?
    The internet is a community, and our currency is information. Threaten to limit our salary, and the people will strike. The people will protest!
    SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and other similar bills around the world are a danger to our community, and we won’t take it lying down.

    “Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren’t going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

  68. With all due disrespect to former Senator-now-corporate-lobbyist Dodds, while he’s bitching about “hyperbole” perhaps he might like to rethink calling people engaging in a legitimate, lawful and non-violent protest action idiotic tools of “foreign criminals”.  Just a thought.

  69. “…protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

    Raw, unadulterated propaganda.

    I dub thee the Democratic Peoples Republic of America.

  70. Ryan Lenethen says:

    “intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.”

    Yes because the MPAA and RIAA would NEVER “intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.” Such as making up totally fictional or just plain incorrect numbers for the number of copyright infringement or the amount of money “lost” due to pricy.

    It boggles the mind why kind of tripe exits the mouth of some of these idiots.

    I saw a perfect quote today:

    “To argue with a person who have renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead”
       -Thomas Paine

    I don’t know who “Thomas Paine” is, but I think he had it about right. With a name like “Paine” I sure hope he wasn’t a doctor! LOL “Time to go see Dr. Paine!” :)

    • In the end, you know who organisations like the MPAA and RIAA represent – they hardly keep it under wraps – and there’s nothing wrong with that.  My problem is when 1) they just lie like flatfish and 2) pretend they’re entirely disinterested advocates of the interests of consumers and creatives. 

  71. nesnora says:

    Woe to the man that fights technology.

  72. Conrad Flynn says:

    So it’s NOT an abuse of power for the MPAA to call the government to take down a website because they don’t like the way a movie is portrayed there?

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