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InfoWorld: Legitimate concerns vs. free speech: Who defines the rules for the Net?

Nov 07, 2000, 19:35 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Foster)

[ Thanks to Paul Eggert for this link. ]

"We are used to thinking of censorship as something governments do. But on the Internet of late, censorship appears to be more of a private enterprise."

"Although different situations in many respects, @Home and Digital Convergence both successfully used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get their rather dubious intellectual property claims upheld."

"... the big companies have gotten what they wanted in these cases -- and without going to court, where they might well lose. The DMCA puts one very dangerous new weapon in the hands of corporate lawyers: the ability to get a supposed infringer's service provider to close a Web site or Internet account even with a highly dubious claim of intellectual property violations."

"This is all happening without UCITA being the law in any of the relevant states. If you combine UCITA -- and its ability to enforce such things as shrinkwrap terms prohibiting product criticism and reverse engineering -- with the DMCA, what will we have? I fear it could be a form of censorship that will make the most despotic governments exceedingly envious."

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