Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Hard to Imagine, But SOPA/PROTECT-IP Will Be Worse Than This

In case you think that SOPA or PROTECT-IP will be bad without judicial supervision of takedowns, read this TechDirt article to see how bad things can be even with judicial supervision.  Here are the first two paragraphs of the article:

Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine's offices over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company's printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine's lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. I expect most people would be outraged. I expect that nearly all of you would say that's a classic case of prior restraint, a massive First Amendment violation, and exactly the kind of thing that does not, or should not, happen in the United States.

But, in a story that's been in the making for over a year, and which we're exposing to the public for the first time now, this is exactly the scenario that has played out over the past year -- with the only difference being that, rather than "a printing press" and a "magazine," the story involved "a domain" and a "blog."
This nightmare happened to a blog represented by my former partner Andrew Bridges.  So much for the First Amendment!

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