Thursday, November 17, 2011

POLICY: The "Internet Censorship" Bill


The current law (DMCA - which is already not a great bill), at least gives websites like YouTube or Facebook the ability to be legally safe so long as they respond to copyright take-down notices in a timely manner. For instance, if someone posts a movie that includes copyrighted content, the copyright holder can send a notice to YouTube, and YouTube can exercise discretion and either take it down, or respond to the request.

Now, if someone posts a movie to YouTube that has copyrighted content, the copyright holder can take the complaint to the domain registrants and demand that YouTube be taken off the internet.

This is worse than simply censorship. This is vigilante censorship -- censorship done outside of the courts, by self-appointed warriors.

If it passes, we go from all being criminals to all being felons.

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