Chris Dodd and the MPAA: bribery or politics as usual?

Summary:So it looks like former Senator and current anti-freedom monger Chris Dodd, and his band of merry MPAAers, are once again showing their completely crass nature.Annoyed by the temporary defeat of those heinous SOPA and PIPA bills, Mr.

So it looks like former Senator and current anti-freedom monger Chris Dodd, and his band of merry MPAAers, are once again showing their completely crass nature.

Annoyed by the temporary defeat of those heinous SOPA and PIPA bills, Mr. Dodd lashed out at his former colleagues in the House and Senate. If they were going to stand up for the public good, he was going to tell them what's what.

Now, we all know that our Congress-critters didn't stand up for the public good because they're patriotic Americans. Oh, no. It's that they were more scared of the good people of the Internet and our extreme reach than they were dazzled by the charm of the Doddmeister.

This sent the Dodderer back into his lobbyist cave to think and stew. What could he promise, what could he threaten, to get his freedom-killing plans back on track? After some time burrowing and then rolling around in the muck of lawyers and lobbyists, he had a plan.

He'd threaten to withhold money from his cronies. Hah, that's the ticket.

And that's what he did. On January 19, the Doddly one spoke out on FOX News, "Candidly, those who count on quote '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."

That was a veiled warning. But then, what did that darn Dodd do? Here's the money quote: "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."

Seriously. A former Senator of 30 years said that.

What's sad about all this is that it's just so wrongheaded and crass. These bills are horrible. Expert after expert, industry exec after industry exec, pundit after pundit (okay, well, maybe that's not a selling point, but you get the idea) have come out against these bills. It's not that we don't want our IP protected, it's that we don't want to lose our rights just because the MPAA wants to put another $100 million in its war chest.

See also: Dear Congress, guess what? We already have copyright laws.

As you might imagine, there was some backlash against this latest Doddism. A group of Internet do-gooders got together to de-Dodd and put together a petition asking the White House to investigate the Doddinger for bribery.

Sigh. As you might imagine, that went nowhere fast. The White House didn't respond to the petition, having better things to do with its time, like run for re-election using the resources of the Internet.

Oh, wait. We are the Internet. How convenient for us.

Of course, one might ask whether or not the broadside fired across the bows of Congressional cronies by Dodd was indeed a bribe, or whether that's just politics as usual. After all, he didn't call up all his friends and tell them that if they vote his way, he'll write them a check. That would be a bribe.

Oh, no. He just told his former friends not to ask him to write a check. Technically, telling someone not to ask for money isn't a bribe.

It's just politics as usual.

See also:

Topics: Browser

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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