The petition arose in response to comments Chris Dodd--who stepped down from his post representing Connecticut in the U.S. Senate in January of last year--made regarding his work for the Motion Picture Association to advocate for the passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The SOPA bill was shelved earlier this week after an intense opposition campaign forced some lawmakers to withdraw their support for the controversial bill, and Dodd has been critical of the successful push to stop the bill from passing.
Chris Dodd signed on as chairman of the MPAA after stepping down from the Senate last year, and he has been under fire ever since for engaging in what his opponents allege is bribery while pushing the SOPA bill.
See the full text of the petition at the end of this story, or view it on the White House website here.
Dodd has come under intense criticism for his role at the MPAA in the SOPA debate. He is not allowed to directly lobby in Congress, so he has acted as a coordinator of the association's activities in Washington, which were focused for the last several months in large part on passing the SOPA bill.
SOPA was ostensibly aimed at curbing rampant online piracy of intellectual propety, but its critics contended that it would restrict free speech and internet rights. Dodd said he finds such assertions are offensive.
On Jan. 19, Chris Dodd spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about SOPA:
Illegal conduct is not protected by the First Amendment. The Internet is not a law-free zone, Dodd told the Hollywood Reporter. It doesn't create exceptions for illegal activity. Stealing is wrong. The First Amendment doesn't protect stealing. There's nothing in this bill in any manner, shape or form that would deprive people of their First Amendment rights.
Full text of Chris Dodd SOPA bribery petition:
Recently on FOX News former Senator Chris Dodd said (as quoted on news site TechDirt), '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. 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,' 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.
We demand justice. Investigate this blatant bribery and indict every person, especially government officials and lawmakers, who is involved.