Jimmy Wales Says Chris Dodd Should Be Fired

from the you-want-abuse-of-power? dept

Chris Dodd and the MPAA have been pretty harsh on folks who protested online last week, arguing that the protesters were “corporate pawns” and that the blackouts were an “abuse of power.” It appears that Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales feels otherwise. In a conference appearance he responded to the “abuse of power” claims by suggesting that the real abuse of power was Dodd threatening politicians who accept Hollywood money:

Wales argued that these transparent statements make the MPAA out to be a corrupt, Congress-buying organization. He also challenged Dodd’s assertion that Wikipedia’s decision to blackout its site in protest of SOPA, an effort Wales said was a “massive success,” constituted an abuse of power.

10 million people contacted Congress, Wales said. “That’s not an abuse of power, that’s democracy,” he said. “[Dodd] had best get used to it.”

Well, of course, to Dodd, actual democracy is an abuse of power. He prefers backroom dealing to actually letting the people out to have their say…

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Comments on “Jimmy Wales Says Chris Dodd Should Be Fired”

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74 Comments
Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The MPAA are well known for ignoring anything and everything that does not agree with them. So on blackout day millions of voting Americans vanished from the United States if seen through the eyes of the MPAA.

I fully agree with Jimmy Wales when I have said several times before that Chris Dodd should be fired. He is a man who cannot do his job as they SOPA issue highlights. Then to be more successful in the future they need to replace him with someone who can understand technology and the Internet.

Or does everyone who loves the Internet hate copyright enforcement?

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes people supporting SOPA/PIPA like the MPAA certainly couldn’t be corporations sending a bunch of ‘corporate pawns’ to lobby in favor of their legislation. No, the MPAA is just a single regular American who chose that odd name, with a lot of ‘friends’ with lots of money, friends who are lobbying to protect intellectual property rights! What could be more American then that! The MPAA isn’t a corporation or organization, that’s just lies spread by google!

Wikipedia and Google however are evil desperate corporations who have to pay off their ‘corporate pawn’ customers to make a fuss about fighting piracy! And evil google/wikipedia and their corporate pawns stand to make million of dollars by keeping the laws the way they are now, by stealing intellectual property from people like poor MPAA the average Joe!

John Thacker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The Wikimedia Foundation, Reddit, and Google are corporations. If you think that the Citizens United decision was wrong, then you believe that Congress could ban them from lobbying.

OTOH, while you might think that the MPAA could be banned from lobbying, most of the big SOPA/PIPA supporters are media corporations, and most of the people who dislike Citizens United think that there is a media corporation exception for Freedom of the Press.

So people who think that Citizens United was a terrible decision should realize that if it were overturned, you would see a situation where what Wikipedia, Reddit, and Google did could be banned, but the cheerleading of Rupert Murdoch, CNN, ABC, Hollywood, and other media types for SOPA and PIPA would be allowed.

I think that the best cure for bad speech is more speech.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I dunno, I don’t particularly care about Siegler either – though he does have some really good stuff from time to time. Either way though, he’s influential in the tech sphere still (especially the silicon valley hardcores who are only just waking up to policy issues), so I figured it was worth pointing out

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Sorry, that’s my knee jerk reaction to anyone mentioning any of the current or former staff at TechCrunch. I hate all of those guys, particularly Arrington and Robin Wauters (the second over the Mrs Slocombe’s pussy incident that he couldn’t bother googling before ranting that decent, God fearing people were having to look at and demanded that something be done). They lost all credibility as far as I’m concerned when they couldn’t do the most basic research before putting up an article.

Anonymous Coward says:

the public sticking up for themselves, the ‘net sticking up for itself wasn’t/isn’t an abuse of power. it’s saying that enough is enough as far as corporations taking away anything and everything they possibly can from the public just to protect themselves. the actual abuse of power is by the entertainment industries and the execs, like Chris Dodd, who cant do or refuse to do anything for themselves. they have to bribe and threaten to get others to do what is wanted. that isn’t limited just to the US government but has been extended to include as many countries worldwide as can be, because of the fear that is instilled. i hope the end is nigh for these people, wherever they are. sooner or later something is going to push the people over the edge and look out when that happens. all hell is going to be let loose!

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The really funny thing is, when they do push to far and there is a back lash, they will not see it coming. They rely on the pulp fiction that is newspapers and broadcast news for their information. The people doing polls have no clue what questions to ask. So the politicians have a serious lack of intel on what is really going on.

bob (profile) says:

Democracy?

Did the Wikipedia community vote? Or just the editors? I use the Wikipedia frequently — and contribute– but I never heard about any so-called vote until it was announced as a done deal. Just because anyone can go to the right URL to vote doesn’t make it open or truly democratic. It wasn’t technically in a back room but it was the same as a back room discussion for all intents and purposes.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Democracy?

Uh, yes it is. I’ve contributed plenty to it and I contributed under the assumption that it was a group project that wouldn’t be owned by anyone. Furthermore, one of the guiding principles is neutrality. Protesting something isn’t neutral.

Furthermore the claim here is that the *IAA’s decisions are a “back room” while the Wikipedia’s weren’t. Balderdash! A bunch of zealots hid out in a back chatroom and voted amoungst themselves. There were no announcements so people like me could vote on a single issue.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

“Furthermore the claim here is that the *IAA’s decisions are a “back room” while the Wikipedia’s weren’t.”

I can access the IRC transcripts and vote records, as well as the open discussions that led to Wikipedia’s decision to vote in the first place. There’s a huge amount of information available I don’t have time to read, but your complaint seems to be that they held a vote among the people who run and manage the site rather than occasional contributors like yourself. Not a convincing example of a closed room deal.

Would you like to show me the RIAA’s transcripts so we can compare and contrast?

“people like me”

Judging by your regular comments here, you take many things out of context and attack people for claims they didn’t make. “People like you” are more welcome in the **/AA discussions if you can get yourself invited there.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Democracy?

So, it was done in the open in public discussion both before and after the vote, but because you personally weren’t consulted you don’t think it was democratic? Or, are you saying that because the URL was open it was a back room deal? Neither of these assertions make much sense.

Here’s another piece of democracy for you – if you don’t like it, you can choose not to use or contribute to Wikipedia.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

“Yes, and you can choose or not choose to pay dues to the RIAA. “

I do, and yet they still seek to destroy my freedom in return for failed attempts to protect their profits. What else do you suggest?

“It was a clubby, backroom deal that destroyed the site’s claim to neutrality.”

Then stop whining and do something about it. I’m sorry if the people who actually run the site decided not to include you, but take your sour grapes elsewhere.

Berenerd (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

You can be neutral and still defend yourself just so you know.

The law, as written threatened Wikapedia (amongst others) and so it took a stand in a relatively neutral fasion. It simply warned people what could happen if the law was enacted and gave people a tool to use to notify their representatives on how they feel about the law for, or against. it didn’t write the letter for you, it didn’t call for you and give a recorded message to play on the phone assuming you got through. It in no way did anything to threaten it’s neutral status. If what they did threatened their neutral status, then there is no such thing as neutrality and you have yourself to blame for thinking there was.

Defending yourself is not breaking any part of Neutrality.

Thank you, have a nice day.

Jason (profile) says:

Re: Democracy?

Wikipedia openly and quite publically asked for input from all their users on this action. So yes, it was more democratic than the back room deals the MPAA practices.

We are not advocating for what Wikipedia wants we are advocating for what WE want and there are millions of us. The MPAA is pissed and scared and they ought to be. Wikipedia was Paul Revere, they just put out the message. We responded of our own free will. But the MPAA has no idea what free will really is.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Democracy?

Really? I use the site every day. I edit things. Yet I never heard the call to destroy the site’s neutrality. It was a deal made by only a special few in the club.

When I search through the discussion page, I see a few hundred voters. That’s far, far, far fewer than the site’s daily traffic. There are often hundreds of millions of readers each day.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

“I use the site every day. I edit things.”

Are you an editor of the site or responsible for its day to day running, or do you just volunteer to edit text files? That makes a big difference, I think.

“Yet I never heard the call to destroy the site’s neutrality.”

Funny, I’m not a contributor and I saw the lead up, although I wasn’t too bothered about taking part in the vote so I didn’t pay much attention. Did you contribute to any of those discussions?

“There are often hundreds of millions of readers each day”

So, they shouldn’t have taken a vote until hundreds of millions of people (which would include paid astroturf organisations and the RIAA/MPAA themselves) had a chance to sabotage it?

You weren’t specifically invited and they didn’t wait for you, get over it.

demented (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

So it was a “clubby, backroom deal” and a secret deal just because you’re too dumb to notice it and you weren’t paying attention? By that logic, the protests last week were backroom, clubby things if you hadn’t used wikipedia that day, because then you wouldn’t have noticed.

Sorry, it ain’t wikipedia’s fault that you don’t read their banners and don’t read the news (which the vote was covered in).

And it’s not “destroying its neutrality” to protest bills that could easily be used to destroy or cripple IT. Wikipedia does have a stake in this.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Democracy?

Bibidi Bobidi Buu, I was wondeirng when your unique brand of intellectual debate would come. You obviously wqeren’t paying attention – it was not only on Techdirt, it was also covered by Reddit, Facebook, Ars Technica, and that was in December.

Moreover, do you think what the MPAA does is democratic? Or open? The only person who’s been honest on their side is ex-Senator Chris Dodd, and that was an accident.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Democracy?

No– although the RIAA/MPAA is a membership organization and they do poll their membership. That’s just as democratic as the way that the wikipedia asked its membership.

But then I’m not the one pointing the finger and saying that I’m the good democratic one.

The Wikipedia abandoned it’s neutrality– it’s core purpose.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Democracy?

Either way, it was going to be screwed – the majority of editors that voted just voted to come out swinging, rathe rtthan sitting there and taking it like the US Government have been from the MAFIAA.

Added to that your obsession with everything not being “democratic” is amusing and terrifying in equal measure. You also forgot that the MPAA and RIAA are essentially lobbying firms masquerading as “trade organizations”, right?

bob says:

Re: Re: Democracy?

BTW, I checked Ars Technica and the only thing I could find with their crappy search function is this article posted AFTER THE VOTE:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/wikipedia-to-join-reddit-in-sopa-blackout-wednesday.ars

Plus no one covers anything in Facebook.

It was a clubby deal cooked up by a small cabal of editors with the blessing of Mr. Wales. It was not a democracy by any stretch of the imagination. This is just an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Democracy?

Well bob, in that case there’s only two possible explanations.

Either you are completely illiterate, as the information on Wikipedia planning a black out was made readily available across the internet for AT LEAST 2 weeks before the event happened. And you just didn’t read it cause you couldn’t. If you claim to use Wikipedia frequently, they had banners up, a countdown starting the day before, etc.

Or you live in a cave. And only come out once in a great while to troll certain sites and spew confusing, ill conceived rhetoric the likes of which Big Earth has never seen.

bob, in no way was it’s the same as a back room discussion for all intents and purposes. Yes, the decision to go black was made by Wikipedia editors, but the community was aware of the decision. As is evidenced by ALL the other sites that went black in support, in addition to all the people (pawns, etc) who supported their decision to go black.

Just because you personally weren’t informed/invited into the discussion on whether or not Wikipedia should go black, does not mean it was a back room type deal, for all intents and purposes.

No, only the RIAA/MPAA do things like that. Per their own words and actions.

Oh, and democracy, they mean that the people were allowed to voice their opinion. Thus, the end result. SOPA was shelved. People FINALLLY forced THEIR elected representatives to pay attention to them. Through a peaceful form of protest.

If you think that’s undemocratic, well… you’re obviously another Chris Dodd type shill. Which is your problem, not ours. We, the people, have spoken.

R5h says:

Re: Democracy?

It was editors that decided to black out Wikipedia, I think, but it wasn’t a secret of any kind, and they decided with open debate. Furthermore, the regular users of Wikipedia were the ones who contacted their congresspeople, not just editors. Also… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_a_democracy

Guy Thomas (profile) says:

I have to say that the battle against SOPA/PIPA has restored a bit of my faith in US democracy, but not all my faith. The overwhelming response from the advocates of the bill have reinforced my belief that normal course of business in US government is that it operates more as an aristocracy than a populist democracy. The elites expect to pass laws based on their will. The elites use financial resources to influence who gets elected and hence what laws get passed. What is interesting about last week is that through direct action the will of the people was heard. It is worth noting that the will of the people was not being represented by the elected officials which is not what most people expect of a democracy.

Beech says:

Funny if you think about “neutrality” for a second. This bill could have severely damaged wikipedias operation with the 3rd party liability clauses. So why wouldn’t it protest? If there was a bill making its way through congress that solely said, “Wikipedia is now illegal.” would you be against wikipedia “compromising its neutrality” or whatever to fight that?

Anonymous Coward says:

What's the media to do???

After the corporations got their way with deregulation, and were able to downsize the amount of media corporations to a whopping 6 or 7 for 90% control of the USA’s media, ITS BLATANTLY UNFAIR FOR ANYONE ELSE, LIKE WIKIPEDIA, TO SPEAK UP WITH A DISSENTING OPINION.

After all, they spent all that time and money making it so Joe Public would never be heard from again (Remember FAIRNESS DOCTRINE???) and now this darned internet is allowing someone besides corporations to voice their opinion. Fucking internet needs censored, Now. It’s not fair!!! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

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