Defending The Indefensible: Lawyers Who Love Loopholes Ignoring Serious Constitutional Issues In Domain Seizures

from the this-is-just-sad dept

One of the really sickening things in the debate over the seizures of domains by the US government without due process and with no regard to prior restraint is the way some pro-copyright lawyers have tried to wave off these rather significant concerns, highlighted by multiple lawyers, by focusing on quoting cases out of context and searching for legal loopholes to justify the seizures. Of course, if you dig into the actual case law, you find that the legal loopholes they highlight don't actually apply in this situation.

However, I wanted to step back from that, and take a look at the bigger picture, rather than focus on the legal loopholes that the lawyers are tossing around gleefully.

And from the bigger picture, I can't see how anyone who isn't interested in "the game" of winning a legal argument can possibly justify these seizures from a common sense standpoint. The US is based on certain key principles, and while some can mock those of using phrases like "due process" and "free speech," those aren't joking concepts. They are the underpinnings of a free society, and both are clearly under attack by the crux of these domain seizures.

First, the due process claim: defenders of the seizures claim that "due process" exists because a magistrate judge rubber stamps an affidavit, no matter how many mistakes there are. Of course, if you look at this from a common sense standpoint, no one thinks that due process includes the government seizing your property and letting you sue them at some later date (months later) to get it back. Supporters will point to the history of government seizures, leaving out (conveniently!) the intent of such seizures. It's always been about seizing evidence that might otherwise disappear. Yes, over the years some law enforcement folks have stretched this, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to abuse it in this manner.

The key point here is that there is no justifiable reason why these domains had to be seized without first hearing from the domain holders. None. No one has offered up a justification for seizing them pre-hearing at all. And holding a hearing would allow the government to avoid colossal screw-ups like relying on flatly incorrect evidence from the RIAA or taking down 84,000 legitimate sites and accusing them of being involved in child porn.

This isn't a minor issue. People in the US have been taught that we're innocent until proven guilty. Would it really have made that big of a difference for the government to actually hold a trial before seizing the domain? The answer is no. I mean, it would have meant that the government had to actually make a real case, rather than use questionable evidence, but that's why we have the concept of due process. It's not supposed to be easy for the government to take property or lock people up. That's kind of a key point in a free society.

On the free speech point, the First Amendment is pretty clear that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Of course, over the years, the courts have chipped away at this here and there, but when the government is seizing speech or even tools that are key to use in speech, most people recognize that this should involve a high level of scrutiny to avoid the obvious opportunity for abuse.

We've already seen governments in other countries use questionable copyright claims to stifle the speech of critics. And it's not difficult to see how this could happen in the US as well -- especially given the recent domain seizures. Considering the vast number of perfectly legal sites seized, how hard would it be for political operatives to target critical sites using a similar "copyright" claim? Not hard at all. And that's why we protect our First Amendment rights quite strongly.

In fact, I'm troubled by the claims that seizing speech is fine because it's "copyright infringement." That ignores the fact that the speech we're concerned about isn't infringing speech at all, but it was also taken down due to these seizures. And, as in the due process discussion, there's simply no justifiable reason for why the government could not have waited until a court actually determined what content was infringing (if anything) and targeted any takedown or seizure to that content.

No one tossing out these (generally incorrect) legal loophole arguments seems willing to address either issue. They hide behind misreadings of case law, but can't defend the seizures to the man in the street who is extremely worried about the government blatantly censoring websites with no trial and no due process, while making frequent mistakes undermining the entire claims of the lawsuits. Perhaps there is an actual common sense justification for seizing domains without a trial first, but we haven't seen anything other than misquoting caselaw. So, for those who continue to brush off the due process and free speech concerns, can you explain an actual common sense reason why there couldn't have been an actual trial first?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Mike, you need to become a politician. I'd vote for you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:52am

    America!
    Do as we say, not as we do!
    Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, unless someone willing to pay them enough complains!

    How is it that an industry that makes billions and claims they are loosing trillions still pays next to no taxes into the system that is always being perverted to suit them?

     

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      Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:58am

      Re: Taxes? We don't need no stinkin' taxes!

      These corporations pay "taxes" in the form of lobbying and campaign contributions to support their outmoded form of business.

       

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:58am

      Re: Oooh Money!!

      "How is it that an industry that makes billions and claims they are loosing trillions still pays next to no taxes into the system that is always being perverted to suit them?"
      I believe it's called 'success'.

       

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      chris (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm

      Re:

      How is it that an industry that makes billions and claims they are loosing trillions still pays next to no taxes into the system that is always being perverted to suit them?

      you know what's cooler than making billions of dollars? making trillions of dollars.

       

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 10:57am

    I Love These Threads

    Watching the anon trolls swarm and writhe in fits of rage really makes my day.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Excellent article.

    This touches on pretty much all of the concerns I have had with these domain name seizures.

    Hopefully someone who supports these actions can answer some of these questions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Every time you get on the "84,000 legitimate sites" bandwagon, the rest of your post sort of loses importance. It's really hard to imagine you being very balanced in your views when you keep getting this concept wrong.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Every time you get on the "84,000 legitimate sites" bandwagon, the rest of your post sort of loses importance. It's really hard to imagine you being very balanced in your views when you keep getting this concept wrong.

      What actually is wrong with that? Yes, we know that they were all subdomains of moo.com. So what? They still are legitimate sites. And to the average internet user they are no different than a top level domain.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        For me, it is because a single site with 100,000 pages might be worth more than a company offering up sub-domains. In purely legal terms, there was only 1 domain, 1 site. How they decided to fill their domain is up to them.

        Did you notice that Mike has never mentioned the number of pages, files, or content on any of the other sites. The 84,000 thing is an "outrage" number, a gollified way to try to make something sound way worse than it really is.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          How can it get worse?!

          84,000 sites commandeered for no legal reason and plastered with placards declaring them involved with child porn...there fecking well SHOULD be outrage!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I believe the real-world equivalent would be this:

          Law enforcement seizes (or demolishes) the entire Empire State Building because someone was selling/making drugs in the basement.

          Now I ask, is this reasonable?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If they owned the Empire State building, than yes it is reasonable.

             

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              ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The problem is that they didn't. Hence the outrage.

               

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              Matt (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wait, what?! You have a building full of innocent people's stuff, including their records and means of making a living. They played no role in the building owner's (allegedly) nefarious activities. Neither the building nor the innocent people's stuff is the product of the owner's (alleged) misconduct. The innocent people will potentially lose huge amounts of money for every day that their customers cannot find them. You can seal the owner's rooms in the building and stop his (alleged) misconduct without affecting anyone else in the building. Instead, you choose to seal the entire building, lock all of the doors and post a big sign on the building that says "everyone who worked or entered here was a child molester," send all incoming phone lines to an answering service where an automated attendant answers and says, "I'm sorry, but the person you are trying to reach cannot come to the phone because he or she is a child molester and has been apprehended by law enforcement," redirect the mail to an automated service that returns every message with a stamp reading, "Recipient is a child molester and is not entitled to receive mail," and refuse to give the innocent people access to their information or businesses.

              That's reasonable? It does not even pass the sniff test for reasonability! In the real world, this clearly would be an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. It just as clearly would be libel or slander (depending on whether customers called or wrote,) but that would not be actionable because the government has not waived sovereign immunity for those torts.

               

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              Jose_X, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So you think it is acceptable to seize the building in the middle of the night without any warning or ability to contest the seizure in short time and place a sign and answering machine message claiming all of these particular businesses were dealing in illegal substances?

               

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          In purely legal terms, there was only 1 domain, 1 site.

          And in purely "guy on the street" terms, ICE took down 84,000 websites of innocent people and businesses.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          For me, it is because a single site with 100,000 pages might be worth more than a company offering up sub-domains. In purely legal terms, there was only 1 domain, 1 site. How they decided to fill their domain is up to them.

          This is wrong both technically and logically. Anyone with a blogspot.com blog or a wordpress.com site recognize that it's their own "site" that they're talking about. Anyone with a site on a subdomain that they have full control over recognize that it's their own site.

          It's even more true in this case, because each of those 84,000 sites were hosted on separate servers. This wasn't even a case of 84,000 sites on a single server, but 84,000 separate sites on separate servers. The only thing that mooo.com did was point people to which server to go to.

          From both a logical and technical standpoint, these were 84,000 separate sites. Arguing otherwise is simply, factually, technically and logically false.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Mike, people can call anything a "site". If you had actually been around earlier on the internet, you would remember the tilde accounts that were very common at the start (domain.com/~Username), which were the personal areas of users of a given internet service. As internet connections were essentially you logging into a server, and then using that server's network access to get to other machines, things operated slightly differently. While they weren't "sites", some people would have areas available via Archie or Veronica that would be their personal information or projects, thus "site".

            People can call them "sites", but really they are just cover addresses, a redirection. By that logic, every bit.ly link is a "site".

            From both a logical and technical standpoint, these were 84,000 DNS entries created by mooo.com. They were not much else.

             

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              Dave, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I guess it all depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In the case of bit.ly it would be like the government seizing the bit.ly domain for a small handful of bit.ly links.

               

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                chris (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:03pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                In the case of bit.ly it would be like the government seizing the bit.ly domain for a small handful of bit.ly links.

                jesus christ! don't even say that out loud. someone might hear that and ICE will go seizure happy again.

                 

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                  Hephaestus (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Big old Evil grin !!!

                  We can put together a huge number of web sites doing nothing but pointing to infringing material on bit.ly. Imagine the response on twitter and the blogs when bit.ly gets taken down !!!

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So if ICE had sized the .com domain they would have only taken down one DNS entry, would that be no big deal?

              You should learn a little about technology before speaking about it. Otherwise you end up sounding like an idiot.

               

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              vivaelamor (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              'Mike, people can call anything a "site"'

              Then stop complaining when Mike does it.

              "If you had actually been around earlier on the internet, you would remember the tilde accounts that were very common at the start (domain.com/~Username), which were the personal areas of users of a given internet service"

              Which were user's sites. In terms of the web, a site is pretty much a collection of related html documents. I have to wonder what your definition is and why you believe it is more relevant than the one everyone else uses.

              'People can call them "sites", but really they are just cover addresses, a redirection'

              Yes, there is a distinction between a DNS address, or a http server path, and a site. What you haven't explained is why that distinction matters where Mike is using the word. We already know that the domains were seized rather than the actual html files (it's even in the headline). But using the word site also tells us that the domains were referring to separate sites.

              "From both a logical and technical standpoint, these were 84,000 DNS entries created by mooo.com. They were not much else."

              Except for pointing to 84,000 separate websites, many owned by different people.

               

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            Matthew (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Quick question:
            Has anyone actually been charged with any crime here? I don't recall hearing about any criminal charges being filed in relation to these seizures.

             

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              Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              One charge. ONE. That was Bryan McCarthy for Criminal Copyright Infringement.

              The other complaints came out six Months after the takedowns. Terry is saying that the first round (July) came out within a reasonable timeframe (Six. Friggin. Months.).

              He also doesn't mention the very good fact that the courts closed soon after the takedowns occurred. So no adversarial hearing, no look into the case, no way to file a complaint. Terry won't admit, but the situation is pretty FUBAR.

               

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          anon, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't see the difference between shutting down a mall with 84,000 stores and shutting down 84,000 stores on a street.

           

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            Mike Markovich, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In the case of the mall, there is at least some reason to tie those stores together: they share an organization connection that may be relevant to the particulars of the (hypothetical) case. However, this linkage may not be relevant at all, depending on those same particulars. If the owner of one store in the mall simply fails to pay taxes, there is no reason to even investigate let alone shut down the other stores. Things would be different if (for some crazy reason) the mall insisted that some stores did not pay taxes, because there may be a larger pattern.

            With 84,000 separate stores, even evidence that 83,000 of them didn't pay taxes is not enough to shut down the remaining 1,000.

            Hopefully this made sense!

             

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              Anon, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So potentially speaking, if the owner of the mall was a child pornographer, I could call the orange julius stand in the mall a child pornographeras well, but the orange julius on the corner outside the mall would not be a child pornographer.

              I think I got this now.

               

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                doughless (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 4:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It's even worse than that.

                This isn't even the mall owner being a child pornographer, it's the Hot Topic, that's 30 stores down from the Orange Julius, pimping out little kids, and then having the police barricade all access to the entire mall so they can protect the children.

                 

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          Pitabred (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The problem is that people used those sub-domains for all kinds of things. I have a "subdomain" like was seized that I use to connect to my computers at home when I'm away. I'm sure many people run various game servers or have other hobbies that may not just be web pages, and you're defending the right of the government to unilaterally stop all of those useful services with no evidence or trial?

          Hell, any one of those subdomains could have had hundreds of thousands of pages. YOU DON'T KNOW. The way the DNS system works, those subdomains were all on different IPs, so yes, there were 84,000 people who had their connection to DNS cut off suddenly.

          I don't know if you're playing Devil's Advocate or just a myopic, uneducated asshole, but there is no defense for seizing the domain with no evidence that even the preponderance or even a significant fraction of the subdomains were participating in anything illegal, much less without a trial.

           

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          Ryan (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          DNS is designed to designate other folks as in 'control' of sub-domains as you go down the tree. Thus moo.com. is one group, badstuff.moo.com. is a totally other group, that happens to have an A record that points to a server that answers for a http request for badstuff.moo.com. that Allegedly has Bad Stuff on it. Next you can have othersite.moo.com. which has it's own A record that points elsewhere with completely different content from other folks. Heck it doesn't even need to run a web server.

          Frankly if siezing moo.com. makes sense, just THINK of how much Bad Stuff we can get rid of if we seize com. or even BETTER, if we seize . (the root zone) then ALL the bad stuff in the world goes away!

          Unless of course people figure out that DNS is like the phone book, if you get rid of DNS all you do is make it hard to look up something you don't know, but you can always look elsewhere or at something else.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ryan, if I do a whois on mooo.com, I get an entry. If I do a whois on badstuff.mooo.com, I get nothing (other than perhaps the mooo.com entry, depending on automation).

            mooo.com is as different from the root (.com) as badstuff.mooo.com is from mooo.com. Only mooo.com is actually a registered domain. Think of them as the landlord of a warehouse. If they choose to subdivide the warehouse into storage spaces, but fail to pay the property tax, the building is seized and all the storage people lose access. The sub-dividing of the space just doesn't come into play.

            If ICE has sized 84,000 seperate domains and shut down as a result 84,000 unique sites, we would have something to talk about. But really, it is just playing "on my look at the big number" to try to make a quickly corrected oversight into some sort of battle cry.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Stop.

              You don't know what you are talking about and the more you repeat it the dumber you sound. Domains are not like warehouses, they don't have a "real world" equivalent. Your shitty analogies might sound good in your own ears but that doesn't make them realistic representations of the technology.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Sorry, in this case I know exactly and precisely what I am talking about. You may not like it, but it is 100% solid and true. Ask Vint Cerf.

                 

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                  Paul L (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:24pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  If you knew what you were talking about then you would understand rwhois and instantly smack yourself in the head for being an idiot.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 6:44am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Rwhois doesn't provide ownership information of individual third level domains. Sorry.

                     

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                      Paul L (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      This is where you're just wrong!

                      If you can't provide delegation information for sub-domains using rwhois, explain to me why this is so.

                      I must be accomplishing the impossible as I do this for numerous third level domains.

                       

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Sorry, in this case I know exactly and precisely what I am talking about. You may not like it, but it is 100% solid and true. Ask Vint Cerf.

                  The thing is, I don't have to ask other people because I have a computer science degree.

                  You are 100% wrong. URIs are a method of addressing information. On your computer a file might be located at the URI \\dev0\C$\temp\file.txt or the same file might be accessed on the web at www.someaddress.com\temp\file.txt which actually translates to \\127.0.0.1\temp\file.txt.

                  It doesn't matter if moo.com is selling the someaddress portion of the address or the www portion of the address, either way they are selling a pointer.

                   

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                    Dean Landolt (profile), Mar 26th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'll grant you that the AC you're responding is so very wrong. Still, there are so many inaccuracies in your short explanation here that I don't even know where to start. When you're trying to argue from authority ("because I have a computer science degree") you should probably be sure you're right.

                    I'm not trying to be a pedant but almost everything you said here is technically inaccurate. I can believe this comment was moderated insightful -- that's a major hivemind fail.

                     

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              Dave, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Agreeing with the guy above me. There are only two conclusions that can be drawn from your post. Either you have no idea what you are talking about or you are being intentional dishonest in your arguments.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Why can't they be a lying moron?

                 

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                  proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:29pm


                  "Why can't they be a lying moron?"

                  Think about it.

                  A liar may be a moron (on occasion), and a moron may lie (on occasion), but a moron may not "lie" about what he doesn't understand to be false. And a liar may not be a "moron" with respect to his awareness that he's being dishonest. In other words, no one is "accidently" dishonest. Volition is implied.


                  So, if it's true that "A" is false, then it's true about one who asserts "A" that, "Either [he has] no idea what [he is] talking about or [he is] being intentional(ly) dishonest in [his] arguments."

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Think of them as the landlord of a warehouse. If they choose to subdivide the warehouse into storage spaces, but fail to pay the property tax, the building is seized and all the storage people lose access."

              And that was because the owners (moo.com) were the child molesters in this case?

              You fail. Your analogy fails even more.

               

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              Ryan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well first off, badstuff.moo.com. is what we like to call an example. It is not a valid subdomain of moo.com. Second, Whois is a great system that is closely tied to dns but it is not dns. Any subdomain in dns can numerous records, including NS records pointing you to a whole different server and authority for that record and below.

              The example I used, 'badstuff.moo.com.' is a subdomain of 'moo.com.' which is a subdomain of 'com.' which is a subdomain of '.', the Root zone. Everything to the left of a '.' can be controlled by another organization with proper delegation. By your reasoning we 'com.' should / could be seized because there are bad subdomains of 'com.'.

              Lastly, NONE of this has anything to do with hosts that are found by A records in DNS. This seizure is like removing my phone book entry because I sell drugs. My home is still there, my phone is still there, my phone number is still there, you just took the listing out of the phone book.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Lets see you get accused by the government of being involved in 'child porn' and have that information available to anyone on the internet....

          Then come back and tell us how this is 'way worse than it sounds'... if you have any reputation/visitors/fans left (people tend to distance themselves from those ACCUSED of being involved in Child Porn, actual evidence or proof isn't required. If someone says it, people will believe it, especially if it's the government.

           

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          Paul L (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In purely legal terms, there was only 1 domain, 1 site. How they decided to fill their domain is up to them.

          How do you figure this?

          .com is a domain; A top level domain
          domain.com is a domain; A sub-domain of .com
          site.domain.com is a domain; A sub-domain of .domain.com

          I'm not sure what "purely legal terms" you're using to determine this is a single domain, but it certainly highlights the fact that those only versed in "legal terms" don't understand the technology. That being said; if someone doesn't understand how the domain name system works, they shouldn't be green-lighting the seizure of 84,000 legitimate domains.

           

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      Dave, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:08am

      84,000 sites mistake doesn't matter?

      How is he wrong? Everything I've seen, including from ICE, has said that due to their ability to get rubber stamped affidavits they replaced the message on 84000 sites with a message that said "These guys were involved with child porn". It was later fixed, but would not have happened at all if there were an actual adversarial hearing that took place prior to the seizure.

       

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        Ron Rezendes (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:16am

        Re: 84,000 sites mistake doesn't matter?

        If you work with children in virtually any capacity, and one of those sub-domains was yours, you may be hard pressed to EVER find a job in your field again - that's how harmful that simple little fabrication can be for a teacher/counselor/instructor/after school program worker/custodian/teacher's aide.....

        It is simply amazing that those who support these actions do not understand the irreparable harm that a simple notice on someones website/blog can be and all because they felt it was unnecessary to use "due process".

        Do you get it yet?

         

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      Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      So don't attack the argument, attack the man, eh?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:01am

    it's a matter of perception

    > can't defend the seizures to the man in the street who is extremely worried

    Problem is, the man on the street is NOT extremely worried about these seizures... he is more interested in finding a job and wondering what is on TV tonight. It is only eggheads like us that are worried.

     

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      Jose_X, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:47pm

      Re: it's a matter of perception

      Sure go ahead and defend the destruction of small business and of individual's ability to explore into new territories online.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Mike, you are completely wrong about this. You see, we can't have a trial because the facts are a state secret and critical to national security. Oh, and by the way, we are seizing techdirt domain because [redacted][redacted][redacted]... Have a nice day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:02am

    common sense reason for not having a trial first: Congress didn't require it.

    This in no way means that the seizures (and the underlying legal statutory authority) are constitutional. This is something for the courts to decide. You cannot fault the administration and enforcement agencies for using the tools provided to them by congress.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      You cannot fault the administration and enforcement agencies for using the tools provided to them by congress.

      Oh yes we can...especially in matters concerning prior restraint. Constitution trumps congress.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      You cannot fault the administration and enforcement agencies for using the tools provided to them by congress.

      Just a thought. If these seizures are found to be illegal, can we then seize these tools that these agencies used?

       

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        Meek Barbarian (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:51am

        Re: Re:

        Just a thought. If these seizures are found to be illegal, can we then seize these tools that these agencies used?


        Wait, which tools?

        The software and hardware? Or the idiots staffed by the government who keep screwing up?

        I mean, sure, we could probably find some use for the software and hardware, but those other tools are about as useless as possible.

         

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          ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I mean, sure, we could probably find some use for the software and hardware, but those other tools are about as useless as possible.

          Meh. So stick them in an evidence locker for twenty years. Maybe in that time well come up with a DNA test for idiocy that will vindicate them.

           

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe, we could seize ICE and DoJ in their entirety since they are just being "tools" for the entertainment industry.

           

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        Jose_X, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:50pm

        Re: Re:

        >> Just a thought. If these seizures are found to be illegal, can we then seize these tools that these agencies used?

        Why not seize them now? Trials take long to come to resolution.

         

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      Matthew (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      No. We can fault them for it. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. They didn't have to do it at all, much less in the sloppy, ham-handed way they did.

      If you do something wrong just because no one forced you to do the right thing, you are still wrong and you are still responsible for it. Look at the administration's recent change with respect to DOMA - they very clearly understand this concept.

       

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      IP Lawyer, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      IP Lawyer here.

      First off, congress has virtually nothing to do with this. It's a constitutional and judicial matter, and, in fact, runs straight into separation of powers.

      Deprivation of property without due process is unconstitutional, and barring a constitutional amendment otherwise, congress can do fuck-all about this. They can pass seizure laws till they turn blue in the face, but courts should not uphold them without due process. The fifth amendment, in Pertinent Part:

      nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

       

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        herodotus (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re:

        "Deprivation of property without due process is unconstitutional, and barring a constitutional amendment otherwise, congress can do fuck-all about this."

        But what, exactly, is 'due process'?

        I'm serious, I'd like to know. It sounds like an extremely vague concept that can easily be redefined at will by a resourceful lawyer.

         

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          vivaelamor (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "But what, exactly, is 'due process'?"

          It pretty much means that the government has to follow the law and adhere to the rights of an individual.

           

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          IP Lawyer, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are many, many cases on what due process means, and it varies in context. Fundamentally, however, it means, basically, notice + opportunity to be heard. There has to be some form of notice to a person, if he is going to be deprived of life, liberty or property, and some sort of judicial hearing in which he has the chance to represent his interests.

          Depending on the context, this process can vary highly. At gitmo, due process is basically the opportunity to have your habeas hearings denied. For a seizure of property, however, you are entitled to something on the level of a hearing or, depending on the circumstances, a full trial.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are many, many cases on what due process means, and it varies in context. Fundamentally, however, it means, basically, notice + opportunity to be heard. There has to be some form of notice to a person, if he is going to be deprived of life, liberty or property, and some sort of judicial hearing in which he has the chance to represent his interests.

            Depending on the context, this process can vary highly. At gitmo, due process is basically the opportunity to have your habeas hearings denied. For a seizure of property, however, you are entitled to something on the level of a hearing or, depending on the circumstances, a full trial.


            Agreed 100%. What's weird is that Mike's "analysis" never includes an explanation of what ACTUALLY constitutes due process in seizures such as this. Instead it's vagaries and FUD.

             

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              vivaelamor (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              'What's weird is that Mike's "analysis" never includes an explanation of what ACTUALLY constitutes due process in seizures such as this.'

              Again, adhering to the law and respecting individual rights pretty much sums it up. Exploiting legal loopholes is by its very nature a perversion of due process. The government is supposed to fix loopholes, not exploit them.

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Supporters will point to the history of government seizures, leaving out (conveniently!) the intent of such seizures. It's always been about seizing evidence that might otherwise disappear. Yes, over the years some law enforcement folks have stretched this, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to abuse it in this manner.

    So your argument is that despite the fact that it's the law, it shouldn't be the law, so let's not do it? That's not very persuasive. At least you acknowledge THE FACT that reasons exist other than seizing evidence. Agree with it or not, but criminals' tools get taken away upon a showing of probable cause. You take the tools so the criminals can't continue to use them to commit further crimes. It quite a simple concept, and it's hilarious that you think the law is somehow twisted because it allows for criminals' tools to be taken away from them.

    The key point here is that there is no justifiable reason why these domains had to be seized without first hearing from the domain holders. None. No one has offered up a justification for seizing them pre-hearing at all.

    I've offered the same reason--the actual reason--for quite some time. You just don't want to hear the truth. The reason is quite simple: if you take that tool away from the alleged criminal, that criminal can't use that tool to hurt his victims any further. Your problem is that you don't understand who's the criminal and who's the victim. We all know you think the defendant is the real victim.

    It's not supposed to be easy for the government to take property or lock people up.

    People have had their property taken and been locked up upon a showing of probable cause to a judge since the founding of this nation. It's exactly supposed to work like this.

    On the free speech point, the First Amendment is pretty clear that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Of course, over the years, the courts have chipped away at this here and there, but when the government is seizing speech or even tools that are key to use in speech, most people recognize that this should involve a high level of scrutiny to avoid the obvious opportunity for abuse.

    Not all speech is treated the same, and it doesn't all get the special treatment. We all know you interpret the First Amendment literally. The "no law" part is not taken literally in the real world, though.

    No one tossing out these (generally incorrect) legal loophole arguments seems willing to address either issue. They hide behind misreadings of case law, but can't defend the seizures to the man in the street who is extremely worried about the government blatantly censoring websites with no trial and no due process, while making frequent mistakes undermining the entire claims of the lawsuits. Perhaps there is an actual common sense justification for seizing domains without a trial first, but we haven't seen anything other than misquoting caselaw. So, for those who continue to brush off the due process and free speech concerns, can you explain an actual common sense reason why there couldn't have been an actual trial first?

    I've been saying it: You take the tools away from the criminal so he can't use those tools to hurt more victims. The reason, I think, this is difficult for you to grasp is because you think piracy is OK.

     

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      Designerfx (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      wha?

      Where is there proof of harm from piracy? Please, do show proof. I've been waiting over 10 years. There is none.

      Piracy and "criminals who hurt people" are different. Likewise, "taking away the tools" doesn't protect anybody, not unlike the second amendment argument. Got more fail?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:12am

        Re: Re:

        So the people whose rights are violated are not victims? Weird. I should think you wouldn't like people violating your rights. Taking away a tool means that tool cannot be used to violate people's rights. You seize the drug smuggler's speed boat if you can. Even though he can buy another speed boat to smuggle more drugs, that does not mean you shouldn't seize whatever you can. Would you prefer we just let criminals keep all of their tools?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You still don't address the question in Mike's post:

          Why would a hearing prior to any of these seizures have been detrimental in any way?

          And you just assume that someone's copyrights were violated. A hearing or trial beforehand would have determined if that were truly the case and made things easier for ICE if found to be so by a court. Just because a rightsholder claims infringement does not necessarily mean that it has actually occurred - courts determine that, not the rightsholder, not the alleged infringer.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You still don't address the question in Mike's post:

            Why would a hearing prior to any of these seizures have been detrimental in any way?


            The detriment would have been that in the meantime, the tool would continue to be used to commit crimes.

            And you just assume that someone's copyrights were violated. A hearing or trial beforehand would have determined if that were truly the case and made things easier for ICE if found to be so by a court. Just because a rightsholder claims infringement does not necessarily mean that it has actually occurred - courts determine that, not the rightsholder, not the alleged infringer.

            I don't assume they are guilty. Probable cause is sufficient justification to take away the tools. Things aren't only seizable after a trial on the merits. That's not how it works. It's worked this way for a long, long time.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A domain name is not a "tool used to commit a crime" any more than the address number on a house is.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                A domain name is not a "tool used to commit a crime" any more than the address number on a house is.

                The statute allows for the seizure of any property used to commit or facilitate the crime. The domain name is property used to commit and facilitate the crime. The domain name takes you to the website where the crime is committed. Take away that domain name, and no one is using it to commit any more crimes.

                 

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                  freak (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Take away the address on a house on no one will use that to commit crimes either?

                   

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                  HothMonster, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Except you haven't taken the tools, just the signpost to them. The servers were not taken so they just needed a new domain and the crime could continue to be perpetrated. This would stop the crime for about five minutes. (No you can keep the drug running boat but we are taking your registration and your map)

                  I think the bigger issue is how few of these sites were actually committing a crime. Yes probable cause allows you to seize "tool used to commit a crime" but if the only reason you have probable cause is evidence produced by an adverse party that is exceptionally weak probable cause. If ICE had done a thorough investigation instead of merely regurgitate claims by the industry I would have less of a problem with it.

                  Thankfully we don't live in Mao's China and your neighbor calling the cops and telling them you grow pot does not give them probable cause to get a search warrant. It may lead them to do an investigation and request a warrant if it is applicable. However in this case ICE requested the warrant based on unsubstantiated claims by the industry.

                  Now I realize some of the sites were doing illegal things and you can argue what happened is fair. BUT enough sites that were not infringing got pulled down that this is an issue. For example the music blog were the 4 reasons used to seize were provided by the industry and were legal. Also the 84,000 mooo sites. Is the process correct if tens of thousands people are getting injured in the process? I know if the cops accidentally seized 84,000 houses/or places of business of innocent people we would probably rethink their methods.

                  As far as the moooo sites people say well they were subdomains so because mooo had to be stopped they all came down, shit happens. It wasn't mooo that was infringing it was it was one of the subs. So instead of pulling down the actual infringer they pulled the top level which brought down the infringer and 80,000+ people who did nothing wrong.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I don't assume they are guilty."

              You most certainly do when you continually defend these seizures as necessary to deprive 'criminals of their tools to commit crime'.

              Feel free to call the accused "criminals" after they have been charged, tried and found to be such.

               

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Would you prefer we just let criminals keep all of their tools?

          Based on the manner in which law enforcement has abused asset forfeiture laws in the past, the answer to your question is a huge, emphatic YES!!

           

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            Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Perhaps I should clarify my stance on this.

            Do I think an alleged criminal should be allowed to keep his possessions prior to being found guilty of any crime - YES.

            Do I think a criminal should be able to keep his assets obtained from a crime after being found guilty of said crime - NO.

             

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              pixelpusher220 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              or better yet:

              Do I think a criminal should be allowed to keep his possessions after a pre-trial adversarial hearing in which he gets to defend *why* he should be allowed to keep them and the gov't should explain *why* existential harm is done by him keeping said tools? (insert hearing result here!)

               

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              Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In case anyone is interested in how forfeiture laws are being abused here a link with quite a few horror stories. They even mention the domain name seizures in there.

              http://forfeiturereform.com/

              Just so no one gets the wrong idea about me, I believe laws and law enforcement are needed in our society. I feel safer knowing that the cops are on the job. But, on the other hand, I also need to feel safe from abuses of power by law enforcement.

               

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      The reason is quite simple: if you take that tool away from the alleged criminal, that criminal can't use that tool to hurt his victims any further.

      But, it didn't take the tool away. At all. It was like removing the label that says "Stanley" from my hammer that I still have.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        But, it didn't take the tool away. At all. It was like removing the label that says "Stanley" from my hammer that I still have.

        They're not using that domain name any more. The tool is most definitely taken away.

         

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They're not using that domain name any more. The tool is most definitely taken away.

          True, but laughable. Instead of SomeWebSite.com it's now SomeWebSite.tv. Doesn't seem like much (if anything) was gained.

           

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          anon, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          really? I'm not super-duper tech saavy, but last I checked any of these websites are still available if you know how to:
          a: google
          b: type in an ip address

          so i'd have to agree with the label analogy, except the label wasn't removed, it was replace with "CHILD PORNOGRAPHY WUZ HERE".

           

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:12am

      Re:

      "Supporters will point to the history of government seizures, leaving out (conveniently!) the intent of such seizures. It's always been about seizing evidence that might otherwise disappear. Yes, over the years some law enforcement folks have stretched this, but that doesn't mean it makes sense to abuse it in this manner.

      So your argument is that despite the fact that it's the law, it shouldn't be the law, so let's not do it? That's not very persuasive. At least you acknowledge THE FACT that reasons exist other than seizing evidence. Agree with it or not, but criminals' tools get taken away upon a showing of probable cause. You take the tools so the criminals can't continue to use them to commit further crimes. It quite a simple concept, and it's hilarious that you think the law is somehow twisted because it allows for criminals' tools to be taken away from them.
      "


      The fact that we're dealing with digital evidence should make apparent that such seizures are unnecessarily brutal--they are transparently done in serving masters other than 'justice.' If evidence was what they were after, a covert site-dump saved to read-only media would provide more than enough evidence about EXACTLY what the site was doing, with those who run the website being none the wiser until a subpoena is issued for court.

      Hell, they could even do successive copies of the site...

      On another note, who do you think you're fooling? You are thus far an amazingly well spoken shill whose lies and spin are incredibly subtle, but your mask is slipping.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        The fact that we're dealing with digital evidence should make apparent that such seizures are unnecessarily brutal--they are transparently done in serving masters other than 'justice.' If evidence was what they were after, a covert site-dump saved to read-only media would provide more than enough evidence about EXACTLY what the site was doing, with those who run the website being none the wiser until a subpoena is issued for court.

        Hell, they could even do successive copies of the site...


        The evidence has already been collected before the seizure occurs. Otherwise, that would be stupid. It's weird that you think they didn't collect the evidence first. That makes no sense.

        On another note, who do you think you're fooling? You are thus far an amazingly well spoken shill whose lies and spin are incredibly subtle, but your mask is slipping.

        I'm paid to be here. It's a conspiracy. You figured us out.

         

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, it's an established fact they collected no evidence first, they simply seized domain names at the behest of non-governmental entities. Try harder.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            OK, if it's an "established fact," then prove it. The fact that an agent swore under oath that evidence was collected will not help your case.

             

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      So your argument is that despite the fact that it's the law, it shouldn't be the law, so let's not do it?

      No, that's not my argument. I just wrote a few hundred words above explaining my argument and this has nothing to do with it.

      Agree with it or not, but criminals' tools get taken away upon a showing of probable cause. You take the tools so the criminals can't continue to use them to commit further crimes. It quite a simple concept, and it's hilarious that you think the law is somehow twisted because it allows for criminals' tools to be taken away from them.

      What crime was committed? You keep ignoring this point.

      Separate from that, how does seizing the domain stop them from committing any crimes here? It doesn't. If a crime was committed arrest people for the crime and let there be a trial to determine what happened.

      Instead, what's happening here is a campaign against speech without due process.

      I will note that no where in your response to you defend why it's okay to do all of this pretrial. You stick by your legal loophole: the law says it's okay, so it's okay.

      Of course, that's not what the law says, and I wasn't asking you what the law says. I was asking you to explain why. The best you can muster is that taking away the tools "stops" the criminal activity, but you can't point to any actual criminal activity (oops!). Separately, the domain is not a tool used for criminal activity. I could see a server being a tool, but a domain is not.

      So, let's try answering the question this time: what common sense explanation is there for seizing a domain without a trial first?

       

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        crade (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re:

        If a crime was committed in a city, the city is obviously a tool for criminal activity and should be disabled until it can be proved that the city can go back up and no crime will be committed there ever again.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re:

        No, that's not my argument. I just wrote a few hundred words above explaining my argument and this has nothing to do with it.

        But that was your argument. You said that the seizure laws originally were only for evidentiary purposes (although you cited no authority for this claim). You then said that, "over the years some law enforcement folks have stretched this." Even if that's true, it means that in fact the law now allows for seizures for reasons other than to preserve evidence. It is common knowledge that taking the tools away from the criminal is one such "new" reason. In other words, what's happening now is exactly what the law allows. Your argument is that despite the fact that the law now allows for such seizures, we shouldn't follow the law as it now exists. Why? Because at some point in the past, we used to do it differently (or so you claim). That's not a persuasive argument whatsoever.

        What crime was committed? You keep ignoring this point.

        (1) Criminal copyright infringement, and (2) aiding and abetting and/or inducing criminal copyright infringement. How can you seriously ask this?

        Separate from that, how does seizing the domain stop them from committing any crimes here? It doesn't.

        It stops the criminal from using that tool to break the law. It's very simple to understand.

        If a crime was committed arrest people for the crime and let there be a trial to determine what happened.

        They are arresting people. Sometimes the people are hard to track down, or they aren't in this country. This is why the in rem procedure is such a great tool here. If you looked at this from the perspective of trying to stop the crime of infringement, it would actually make more sense to you.

        Instead, what's happening here is a campaign against speech without due process.

        Says you. But you're not really making legal arguments. You're spouting rhetoric clothed in pseudo-legal sloganism. This much is obvious.

        I will note that no where in your response to you defend why it's okay to do all of this pretrial. You stick by your legal loophole: the law says it's okay, so it's okay.

        I stand by the logic that it's a good thing to take away a criminal's tools upon a showing of probable cause to a judge. Just like the Founding Father's said it should be. It's hardly a legal loophole. It's fundamental to this nation.

        Of course, that's not what the law says, and I wasn't asking you what the law says. I was asking you to explain why. The best you can muster is that taking away the tools "stops" the criminal activity, but you can't point to any actual criminal activity (oops!). Separately, the domain is not a tool used for criminal activity. I could see a server being a tool, but a domain is not.

        Taking away a domain name means the criminal cannot use that domain name to commit further crimes. It is a tool to commit infringement, just like a server is. Both are seizable for the exact same reason. You're the one drawing an imaginary line between the two, not the law.

        So, let's try answering the question this time: what common sense explanation is there for seizing a domain without a trial first?

        So the bad guy can't use that domain name to commit further crimes. You agree that seizing the server makes sense, even though the website can be replaced from a backup on a different server on the same day it's seized. Why do you draw an artificial distinction with the domain name? The strategy is to seize whatever of the criminal's tools you can while you have the chance.

         

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          Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's bs on a new level. Who is being arrested in THIS country for CCI? Further,the charge of CCI doesn't explain ANY of the former takedowns from July or Nov, only Bryan's from Jan, which is a dubious charge at best.

          Next time, try less spin.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's bs on a new level. Who is being arrested in THIS country for CCI? Further,the charge of CCI doesn't explain ANY of the former takedowns from July or Nov, only Bryan's from Jan, which is a dubious charge at best.

            Next time, try less spin.


            It is not necessary that someone be arrested in order for the alleged criminal's tools to be taken away. That is not a prerequisite. It's not spin. It's just how these things actually work.

             

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              Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is not necessary that someone be arrested in order for the alleged criminal's tools to be taken away. That is not a prerequisite. It's not spin. It's just how these things actually work.

              You do realize, that most here are aware that's how it works and we are saying that maybe it shouldn't work that way. Just because it's a law or an accepted legal practice, doesn't mean it's justified.

               

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              Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And yet, you don't answer the questions put forth to talk about tools...

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And yet, you don't answer the questions put forth to talk about tools...

                Ask me a direct question and I'll give you direct answer. I have no idea what you think I'm avoiding.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I've asked you two questions regarding the former takedowns as well as these supposed arrests going on. You have yet to answer. Also, the effectiveness of this is truly debatable. I can still find the sites and now, they're gearing up to sue for their legality. That is the true perversion of law that had taken place.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:53pm
                  And yet, you don't answer the questions put forth to talk about tools...

                  Ask me a direct question and I'll give you direct answer. I have no idea what you think I'm avoiding.

                  Ok, a direct question would be what do you do for a living? For some reason you remind me of the pointy haired boss in Dilbert who honestly doesn't understand why the "peons" are upset when their rights are violated. You are very firmly clinging to the slimmest fragment of legal justification while completely ignoring the spirit of the US laws and constitution that place the burden of evidence on the prosecution.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So what justification did the government have for branding the sites with "child molester/criminal" after seizure (which removed the tool) but before an adversarial hearing?

                  Your 'snowflake' has now been seized and replaced with the image of a child being sexually assaulted... legal much? reasonable? did it feel good?

                   

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          My bad, you're not a troll. You're deluded & actually believe what you're saying.

          Wow. Just wow.

          Seizures of "evidence" is a load of crap. They cart away everything some unlucky SOB owns and then a couple years later regardless of guilt sell it at auction and pocket the money.

          Also, "Criminal copyright infringement" is a non-sequitor. Go read thru Title 17 Chapter 5 of the United State Code regarding copyright if you are in fact so very ignorant that you believe what you're saying. I can appreciate a good debate, but if you're going to claim something as fact at least verify it IS a fact.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Also, "Criminal copyright infringement" is a non-sequitor. Go read thru Title 17 Chapter 5 of the United State Code regarding copyright if you are in fact so very ignorant that you believe what you're saying. I can appreciate a good debate, but if you're going to claim something as fact at least verify it IS a fact.

            You must not be paying attention.
            17 U.S.C.A. § 506
            § 506. Criminal offenses
            Currentness
            (a) Criminal infringement.--
            (1) In general.--Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed--
            (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;
            (B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
            (C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.
            (2) Evidence.--For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright.
            (3) Definition.--In this subsection, the term “work being prepared for commercial distribution” means--
            (A) a computer program, a musical work, a motion picture or other audiovisual work, or a sound recording, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution--
            (i) the copyright owner has a reasonable expectation of commercial distribution; and
            (ii) the copies or phonorecords of the work have not been commercially distributed; or
            (B) a motion picture, if, at the time of unauthorized distribution, the motion picture--
            (i) has been made available for viewing in a motion picture exhibition facility; and
            (ii) has not been made available in copies for sale to the general public in the United States in a format intended to permit viewing outside a motion picture exhibition facility.
            (b) Forfeiture, destruction, and restitution.--Forfeiture, destruction, and restitution relating to this section shall be subject to section 2323 of title 18, to the extent provided in that section, in addition to any other similar remedies provided by law.
            (c) Fraudulent Copyright Notice.--Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.
            (d) Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice.--Any person who, with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500.
            (e) False Representation.--Any person who knowingly makes a false representation of a material fact in the application for copyright registration provided for by section 409, or in any written statement filed in connection with the application, shall be fined not more than $2,500.
            (f) Rights of Attribution and Integrity.--Nothing in this section applies to infringement of the rights conferred by section 106A(a).
            17 U.S.C.A. § 506 (West).

             

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              :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I see what you're saying. Copy & paste works for you, but comprehension not-so-much.

              You have my pity. Feel free to ask for pointers or advice on how to fix your defective reasoning skills.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                How is criminal copyright infringement a non sequitur then? I'm not understanding you.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:05pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "your not doing it right".

                  You are suppose to love piracy!

                   

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                  Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:46pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Why the hell are you posting the entire thing and giving no context?

                  And since I'm home, let's get into that economic report.

                  Link

                  Here's the problem with the rules of piracy:

                  The primary goal of industry activism has been to shift enforcement responsibilities onto
                  public agencies... Public-private partnerships already structure every stage of the enforcement
                  business, from international policy formation to local policing. This model was visible (and
                  highly controversial) in recent negotiations over a new international treaty on enforcement
                  called ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which was developed through
                  private consultations between industry stakeholders and trade officials from friendly states.

                  Within countries, this model has given rise to webs of interlocking enforcement efforts and
                  advisory groups that blur lines between public and private power. At the local level, industry
                  groups both subsidize and participate in investigations, evidence collection, and raids.


                  Inevitably,
                  the increasing scale and complexity of such efforts brings coordination costs, which has led
                  to the creation of new layers of bureaucratic intermediaries—liaison officials, “IP Czars,”
                  and other officials charged with managing the new cross-agency, public-private enforcement
                  agendas.
                  - Page 20

                  Still with me? I don't think that part is hard to deny. But it gets into more detail further down:

                  Closer public-private coordination is almost always accompanied by industry calls for
                  expanded police powers and the wider application of criminal law to copyright infringement.
                  The IIPA has a list of standard demands for reengineering law enforcement around the needs
                  of copyright holders, including provision for ex officio police powers (which empower police
                  to act directly against suspected infringement without a complaint); greater use of ex parte
                  hearings (which drop requirements to have the defendant present) and ex parte searches (which
                  empower industry to conduct raids with lower police or judicial oversight); the application
                  of anti-organized-crime statutes to commercial infringement (often modeled on US RICO
                  laws); dedicated IP courts; longer prison sentences; higher fines; and diminished evidentiary
                  requirements.


                  Now, look at this for one second:

                  ex officio powers - ICE's bending of seizure laws
                  ex parte hearings - Magistrate judge rubber stamp
                  ex parte searches - I've heard of one raid in July, but I'm not positive. However Brazil is brutal about this.
                  dedicated IP courts - not yet up, but I'm sure the RIAA would love to have a kangaroo court in their favor... Oh wait...
                  higher fines - $1 million anyone?
                  Evidentiary requirements - RIAA accuses people, they get their site taken down. ??? Profit!

                  Honestly, if there's more, I'll be happy to discuss it with you but for now, your argument seems really weak.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:41am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  (2) Evidence.--For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, by itself, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright.

                  Read this part. This is how criminal copyright infringement is a non-sequitur. Simply accusing them of sharing copyrighted works cannot be a criminal accusation, the affidavit didn't even attempt to show commercial gain. The also didn't include any evidence that showed willful infringement.

                  I'm sure you will respond with something like "well obviously it was willful ..." but for someone obsessed with the law you should know it doesn't work that way in court. You actually have to prove something.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:06am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Take channelsurfing.net for example. Do you think that McCarthy setting up a website which he frequently updated with the latest links to infringing material shows that his conduct was not willful? I doubt a jury would agree. They did show his commercial gain, by the way. Not that they needed to though, since that's not a necessary element to criminal infringement.

                    Take torrent-finder.com. Same thing. The intent can be inferred from the conduct beyond just the copying itself, and they showed that the site was run for commercial gain in that case as well.

                     

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              Modplan (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              http://www.circleid.com/posts/20110203_super_bust_due_process_and_domain_name_seizure/

              What I'd like to see instead is due process for the accused before domain names are seized and sites disrupted. I'd like to know that the magistrate judge saw an accurate affidavit, and reviewed it with enough expertise to distinguish the location of complained-of material and the responsibility the site's owners bear for it: the difference between direct, contributory, vicarious, and inducement of copyright infringement (for any of which a site-owner might be held liable, in appropriate circumstances) and innocent or protected activity.

              In the best case, the accused gets evidence of the case against him or her and the opportunity to challenge it. We tend to believe that the adversarial process, judgment after argument between the parties with the most direct interests in the matter, best and most fairly approaches the truth. These seizures, however, are conducted ex parte, with only the government agent presenting evidence supporting a seizure warrant. (We might ask why: a domain name cannot disappear or flee the jurisdiction if the accused is notified — the companies running the .com, .net, and .org registries where these were seized have shown no inclination to move or disregard US court orders, while if the name stops resolving, that's the same resolution ICE seeks by force.)

              If seizures must be made on ex parte affidavits, the magistrate judges should feel free to question the affiants and the evidence presented to them and to call upon experts or amici to brief the issues. In their review, magistrates should beware that a misfired seizure can cause irreparable injury to lawfully operating site-operators, innovators, and independent artists using sites for authorized promotion of their own materials.

               

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                Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                One small note:
                A right for the accused to meet the other party. Oh, and the judge to also hear their case instead of the one sided ordeal of the biased ICE.

                 

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          Gwiz (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:08pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the bad guy can't use that domain name to commit further crimes.

          Wait...commit what crimes?

          Oh, you mean that untried legal theory which hasn't even established whether any actual criminal infractions have taken place with the sites seized for copyright infringements? Quite possibly there are civil infractions, but then why would ICE/DoJ be involved with those?

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          (1) Criminal copyright infringement, and (2) aiding and abetting and/or inducing criminal copyright infringement. How can you seriously ask this?

          Can you point me to the conviction for such crimes?

          No? Okay. Now we have our problem.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Can you point me to the conviction for such crimes?

            No? Okay. Now we have our problem.


            Total strawman. It is not necessary for there to be someone charged, much less convicted, of the underlying crime. The law does not require that.

            What about all the rest of my points? Not up for it today?

             

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              Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So you ignore my asking of this question but then say it's not needed... Hypocrisy abounds.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Total strawman. It is not necessary for there to be someone charged, much less convicted, of the underlying crime. The law does not require that.

              Again, I'm asking for a common sense answer. You do not provide one. You're a legal loopholist, defending the indefensible by claiming "it's okay, I found a loophole in the law, so it's okay! Really!"

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Masnick definition of legal loophole: any law that makes it possible to shut down pirate sites.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  AC's definition of a strawman:
                  Not recognizing valid issues with due process, adversarial hearings, or rights of the accused in pursuit of windmills.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Again, I'm asking for a common sense answer. You do not provide one. You're a legal loopholist, defending the indefensible by claiming "it's okay, I found a loophole in the law, so it's okay! Really!"

                It's not a legal loophole. Please stop with the silly rhetoric. The criminal's tool is seized. Once seized, that tool can no longer be used to commit crimes. Are people still using the seized domain names to commit crimes? No. It's working exactly as planned.

                Seizures upon a showing of probable cause are not a loophole. It's the Fourth Amendment.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  A magistrate judge's rubber stamp does not, probable cause, make.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:52am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    A magistrate judge's rubber stamp does not, probable cause, make.

                    The affidavit stated probable cause, and a judge signed off on it. If the affidavit was flawed, there is a remedy to challenge it. The fact that it may be flawed does not mean that it didn't purport to state sufficient probable cause. It did. And the fact that a judge signed off on it made it enforceable.

                     

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:59am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Once seized, that tool can no longer be used to commit crimes. Are people still using the seized domain names to commit crimes? No. It's working exactly as planned.

                  That's not a standard. That's an excuse. Based on that standard, the government could literally seize the entire internet. That's obviously ridiculous.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:21pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    That's not a standard. That's an excuse. Based on that standard, the government could literally seize the entire internet. That's obviously ridiculous.

                    No, Mike. It's a standard. A legal standard. Property used to commit crimes can be seized upon a showing of probable cause to a judge. This seizure can be for the purpose of preventing further crimes from being committed using that property. That's a legal standard that a court would apply. It's not an excuse whatsoever.

                    And, no, you're stupid FUD about seizing the internet makes no sense. The property to be seized has to be proximate enough to the crime to warrant its seizure. The criteria are delineated in the case law. If you took more time to read and UNDERSTAND Terry's site, you might even know what those standards are. Obviously, you prefer to stay in the dark on these things.

                    You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel now, aren't you? You've moved past denial and anger. I think you're on bargaining now. Congrats on moving to the next step. You're halfway there.

                     

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 1:09pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      No, Mike. It's a standard. A legal standard.

                      A standard has limits. Yours has none. It's not a standard. It's an excuse for censorship. Defending it is unconscionable.

                      Property used to commit crimes can be seized upon a showing of probable cause to a judge. This seizure can be for the purpose of preventing further crimes from being committed using that property. That's a legal standard that a court would apply. It's not an excuse whatsoever.

                      Again, then anything can be seized. That's clearly not the intent of the constitution.

                      The property to be seized has to be proximate enough to the crime to warrant its seizure.

                      That's not the case with these seizures by any stretch of the imagination. Once again: no standard.

                      The criteria are delineated in the case law. If you took more time to read and UNDERSTAND Terry's site, you might even know what those standards are. Obviously, you prefer to stay in the dark on these things.

                      I read Terry's site all the time. His misquoting or quoting things out of context is not accurate. Some of his stuff last year was good. This year, it's turned into pure FUD. Makes me wonder who he's really working for now. The lack of disclosure on his site is kinda worrying, don't you think?

                      You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel now, aren't you? You've moved past denial and anger. I think you're on bargaining now. Congrats on moving to the next step. You're halfway there

                      Cute. Looks like you're back to ad homs. Means I'm right.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 1:48pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        A standard has limits. Yours has none. It's not a standard. It's an excuse for censorship. Defending it is unconscionable.

                        How is the standard limitless? Either the seizure is done within the limits of the law, or it's not. Pretending like there is no legal standard that courts would apply in analyzing the legality of the seizures is ludicrous. You're really desperate with these arguments. This one doesn't pass the laugh test. The standards are clearly delineated in the case law.

                        Again, then anything can be seized. That's clearly not the intent of the constitution.

                        Not anything can be seized. Only those things that fall within the standard. The standard is not as broad and all-encompassing as you pretend it to be. There are clear limits. It's hilarious that you're arguing these things.

                        That's not the case with these seizures by any stretch of the imagination. Once again: no standard.

                        Are you really arguing that the domain name is not proximate enough to the crime to allow for its seizure? That's a laughable claim. Courts have been seizing domain names since there have been domain names. If you think a court will agree that a domain name is NOT "property used to commit or facilitate" the infringement, you're delusional. If you think they're seizing too much, I just don't see it.

                        I read Terry's site all the time. His misquoting or quoting things out of context is not accurate. Some of his stuff last year was good. This year, it's turned into pure FUD. Makes me wonder who he's really working for now. The lack of disclosure on his site is kinda worrying, don't you think?

                        You wonder "who he's really working for"? LOL! Talk about FUD. He's been systematically taking you down one peg at a time. He doesn't even mention your name lately, but it's clear that you're his target. It's been fun to watch alright--but at your expense.

                        Cute. Looks like you're back to ad homs. Means I'm right.

                        I really do think you're going through the stages of grief with these seizures. It's not an ad hominem. I actually mean it.

                         

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                          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 12:53am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          How is the standard limitless? Either the seizure is done within the limits of the law, or it's not. Pretending like there is no legal standard that courts would apply in analyzing the legality of the seizures is ludicrous.

                          If there were limits, 84,000 innocent sites wouldn't have been taken down.

                          If there were limits, a site like Dajaz1 wouldn't have been taken down based on a false declaration by the RIAA.

                          Not anything can be seized. Only those things that fall within the standard. The standard is not as broad and all-encompassing as you pretend it to be. There are clear limits. It's hilarious that you're arguing these things.

                          Again, if there were clear limits what has actually happened would not have happened.

                          Are you really arguing that the domain name is not proximate enough to the crime to allow for its seizure?

                          Yes. I am arguing that. Especially in most of these cases, where the domain name has nothing to do with the infringement.

                          You wonder "who he's really working for"? LOL! Talk about FUD. He's been systematically taking you down one peg at a time. He doesn't even mention your name lately, but it's clear that you're his target. It's been fun to watch alright--but at your expense.

                          Hmm. I'm sort of at a loss to respond to this because it's just not true, but if you'd like to believe it, go for it. It's kind of funny, for all the claims that I've been "taken down," in the last six months we've been getting *more* business from people who want our help, we've had *more* requests from Congress & the Senate to help elected officials understand these issues and we've had *more* discussions with people in the White House over these issues as well.

                          It seems that my message is getting through to important people.

                          So, not sure what your thinking is here, but okay... Go with it.

                          I really do think you're going through the stages of grief with these seizures. It's not an ad hominem. I actually mean it

                          Heh. Is this the point where I mention the stage of grief has been debunked? Eh...

                          But, what "grief" would there be anyway? I don't grieve about the seizures. I worry about the dismantling of the Constitution. I am sickened by people like you who seem to think it's a game to come up with loopholes to the Constitution. As I said, you are defending the indefensible.

                          And, here we are, 200+ comments in and you still haven't given a common sense answer to why it was appropriate to seize these domain names without an adversarial hearing.

                          The two claims you've made -- that it stopped crime and that it's okay because the law says it's okay -- are both false. If anything, the seizures drew a lot more attention to sites most people weren't aware of, and if there *was* any actual crime going on at any of them (which again remains unproved), it only served to increase it. I've spoken to a few of the sites that say their traffic is significantly higher these days.

                          Besides, if the goal was really to stop these sites from existing, file a damn lawsuit and get an injunction.

                          Finally, I have to ask a simple question: do you really not think the ability to seize websites without any hearing, without any concern for the first amendment will not or has not been abused by government officials?

                           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Can you point me to the conviction for such crimes?

            This isn't necessary, Mike. Do you have any case law that says a conviction is necessary in order for the government to seize property in a civil forfeiture proceeding? In fact case law on the issue is in direct contradiction to the point you are trying to make. US v. One Sharp Photocopier ("There is no indication of whether the government charged the claimant with criminal copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 506(a) . . . Although a criminal conviction would generally suffice to demonstrate probable cause, such a conviction is not a prerequisite to a civil forfeiture proceeding.").

            Care to admit you were wrong?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Care to admit you were wrong?

              He seems confused to me, but YMMV. I think his argument is that it shouldn't be legal, so it's not legal. The fact that it is legal doesn't play into his analysis of whether or not it's legal. Does that clear it up?

               

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              Dave, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              civil forfeiture proceeding

              civil. That seems different from criminal. And I'm not sure exactly what's involved with civil forfeiture proceedings, but I'm pretty sure it would involve an adversarial hearing of some kind. Maybe even in a court.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This isn't necessary, Mike. Do you have any case law that says a conviction is necessary in order for the government to seize property in a civil forfeiture proceeding?

              Another legal loopholist.

              I'm asking you to defend the reasons for this. You can't. So you're not.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Another legal loopholist.

                It's not a legal loophole, it's the law as applied in a court case. The fact that you disagree with it doesn't make it a loophole.

                IMO, you've seemingly admitted that you can't win on any legal arguments, and so you're now trying to spin this in a direction you think you can. Good luck with that.

                As for your nebulous "common sense" request, I'm sure nothing I could say would make you understand the concept of the government protecting IP rights. However, it makes sense to me. As Terry Hart explained quite well, "The general process for a criminal trial should be familiar to most of us: an alleged offender is arrested (a seizure of a person), charges are filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given. Process for a civil in rem forfeiture is much the same: property is seized, a complaint is filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given." Nothing scary there.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:45pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The thing is that "due process" requires a complaint, trial and verdict before a seizure meets the "common sense test".

                   

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:45pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It's not a legal loophole, it's the law as applied in a court case. The fact that you disagree with it doesn't make it a loophole.

                  Your defending the blatant seizure of protected speech in a way that is clearly abusive for the purpose of censorship, by citing a legal case that doesn't apply here. That's loopholing.

                  IMO, you've seemingly admitted that you can't win on any legal arguments, and so you're now trying to spin this in a direction you think you can. Good luck with that.

                  No. I've argued the legal points as well. It's just that the discussion was getting down in the weeds and I wanted to discuss it on the actual merits rather than fighting with idiots arguing over legal loopholes. Instead, you guys show up and keep focusing on the loopholes.

                  You still haven't defended the actual action.

                  As for your nebulous "common sense" request, I'm sure nothing I could say would make you understand the concept of the government protecting IP rights. However, it makes sense to me. As Terry Hart explained quite well, "The general process for a criminal trial should be familiar to most of us: an alleged offender is arrested (a seizure of a person), charges are filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given. Process for a civil in rem forfeiture is much the same: property is seized, a complaint is filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given." Nothing scary there.

                  Heh, leaning on Terry, who's been proven wrong so many times it's not even funny, doesn't help your case.

                  And, once again, Terry's explanation is incorrect here. There are *REASONS* why that chain of events happens in a criminal case, which is to take the property in for evidence. That's NOT NEEDED here.

                  So, let's try again. Why does it make sense to seize the domains here? Just answer that simple question. Don't tell me what the case law says. Don't quote Terry's legal loopholes.

                  Tell me why does it make sense? Simple question.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:58pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    You seem preoccupied with "preservation of evidence" being the sole basis for seizure under federal caselaw. Certainly it is one basis, but not the sole basis.

                    Yes, one can cherry-pick quotes to make the "evidence" assertion, but it fundamentally overlooks that Supreme Court decisions are purposely limited to the facts at hand, and with good reason.

                     

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                    Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:04pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I have a few questions on this from his very last few sentences:

                    "The general process for a criminal trial should be familiar to most of us:

                    an alleged offender is arrested (a seizure of a person), charges are filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given.

                    Process for a civil in rem forfeiture is much the same: property is seized, a complaint is filed, a trial is held, and a verdict is given.

                    This crap started in July of last year.

                    Where the hell are the complaints for those 9 sites, the trial for those 9 sites, and the verdict?

                    It's going to be close to a year and we've had NOTHING on those 9 takedowns. So does this still qualify as prior restraint, or does this qualify as silence of speech?

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:25pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Your defending the blatant seizure of protected speech in a way that is clearly abusive for the purpose of censorship, by citing a legal case that doesn't apply here. That's loopholing.

                    Please explain why the case doesn't apply here.

                    No. I've argued the legal points as well.

                    You've argued some legal points in the past. To my knowledge you haven't addressed this case or this issue before.

                    Instead, you guys show up and keep focusing on the loopholes.

                    Hm, loopholes seem to be a way for you to characterize laws and/or case law you can't rebut. Would it be accurate for me to characterize the law you claim supports your position as loopholes and you a loopholist? I guess it doesn't apply to you and/or those who agree with your position.

                    Heh, leaning on Terry, who's been proven wrong so many times it's not even funny

                    Mike, I've read each of your attempts to "prove" Terry wrong, and they've not proven anything. If anything, your replies in the comments are increasingly full of immature comments like "I thought he was smart but I guess I was wrong..." "It's amazing all the comments I hear about how wrong he is" or "He's blatantly wrong on so many points that it's laughable." Really sad that you characterize yourself as proving anything in this debate.

                    There are *REASONS* why that chain of events happens in a criminal case, which is to take the property in for evidence.

                    Evidentiary purposes are not the only reason. We like to keep suspected criminals off the streets, which is why they can be arrested and detained before proof of guilt. Likewise, property can be seized in certain circumstances, criminal copyright infringement being one of them. Where there is probable cause to believe copyright infringement is taking place (remember, it doesn't have to be proven), property used in connection with that infringement can be seized so as to stem potential damage to the copyright holder.

                     

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                      Modplan (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      FIRST TECHNOLOGY SAFETY SYSTEMS, INC., a Michigan Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Paul DEPINET; Steven Fuhr; Barry Wade; Vector Research, Inc., Defendants-Appellants.
                      Regardless of whether the district court's order in this case merely preserved the status quo, plaintiff was required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b) to show that the circumstances were appropriate for ex parte relief. The normal circumstance for which the district court would be justified in proceeding ex parte is where notice to the adverse party is impossible, as in the cases where the adverse party is unknown or is unable to be found. American Can Co. v. Mansukhani, 742 F.2d 314, 322 (7th Cir.1984). Plaintiff does not argue that this justification is present in this case. There is, however, another limited circumstance for which the district court may proceed ex parte: where notice to the defendant would render fruitless further prosecution of the action. See id.; In re Vuitton et Fils S.A., 606 F.2d 1 (2d Cir.1979); Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Doe 1, 821 F.Supp. 82, 89 (E.D.N.Y.1993).
                      34

                      In order to justify proceeding ex parte because notice would render further action fruitless, the applicant must do more than assert that the adverse party would dispose of evidence if given notice. "Where there are no practical obstacles to giving notice to the adverse party, an ex parte order is justified only if there is no less drastic means for protecting the plaintiff's interests." American Can, 742 F.2d at 323. In this case, the district court could have ordered the defendants not to disturb any of the items listed in the seizure order and held an immediate adversarial hearing to determine whether the seizure order should issue. Therefore, plaintiffs must show that defendants would have disregarded a direct court order and disposed of the goods within the time it would take for a hearing.

                       

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                        Modplan (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:57pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        A further quote from said case:
                        However, American Can, 742 F.2d at 322-25, a case from the Seventh Circuit, demonstrates the limits of this circumstance. In that trade secrets case, the district court issued an ex parte order permitting the plaintiff, accompanied by U.S. Marshals, to enter defendant's business premises and seize samples of the allegedly infringing inks and to copy all documents relating to defendants' sale of jet inks, defendants' production documents, and defendants' correspondence with plaintiff's customers. Id. at 318. On appeal from the ensuing preliminary injunction, the Seventh Circuit held that issuing the seizure order ex parte was an abuse of discretion because there was no valid reason for proceeding ex parte and not complying with Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b). Plaintiff had supported its argument that notice would have rendered fruitless the further prosecution of the action by asserting that the defendants, after receiving notice, "would have immediately caused [defendants] to alter the inks in their factory and secrete the pertinent documents." Id. at 322. The court noted that it "agree[d] with the Second Circuit that ex parte orders of very limited scope and brief duration may be justified in order to preserve evidence where the applicant shows that notice would result in destruction of evidence" but held that plaintiff's unsupported assertions that defendants would destroy evidence were insufficient to show the need for proceeding ex parte. Id. at 323.

                        Hmmmm, now for context, compare this to the reasoning given by the ICE agent to justify seizures, seeing as the AC's seem incapable of dealing with the actual specifics of this case:
                        Neither a restraining order nor an injunction is sufficient to guarantee the availability of the SUBJECT DOMAIN NAMES for forfeiture. By seizing the SUBJECT DOMAIN NAMES and redirecting them to another website, the Government will prevent third parties from acquiring the names and using them to commit additional crimes. Furthermore, seizure of the SUBJECT DOMAIN NAMES will prevent third parties from continuing to access the five websites listed above.

                        Now try and argue that these specific domains were rightfully seized. Not that seizures in general happen, not that you only need to show probable cause (a laughable argument in context of these seizures), but that the reasoning for seizing the domains was sound.

                         

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 6:07am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Modplan,

                        These seizures are of a different type than mentioned in that case, thus the rules are different. The rules you're quoting do not apply to these seizures.

                         

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 1:19am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Please explain why the case doesn't apply here.


                      As explained by Modplan and others below. There are clear alternatives here to such a seizure. There is no reason why this seizure made sense pre-adversarial hearing.

                      Hm, loopholes seem to be a way for you to characterize laws and/or case law you can't rebut

                      Not at all. But the entire freaking point of this post was to discuss the actual common sense merits, rather than sitting here parsing case law about "well this court said it's okay if you ignore that this case is totally different." And so for this post, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ACTUAL MERITS.

                      Would it be accurate for me to characterize the law you claim supports your position as loopholes and you a loopholist?

                      Sure. That's entirely fair. That's why I'm NOT arguing about the law in this discussion. I'm arguing about common sense. And you still refuse to respond to that.

                      Mike, I've read each of your attempts to "prove" Terry wrong, and they've not proven anything.

                      Heh. I'm afraid I can't do much if you have trouble comprehending my arguments. Not sure why that's my problem.

                      If anything, your replies in the comments are increasingly full of immature comments like "I thought he was smart but I guess I was wrong..." "It's amazing all the comments I hear about how wrong he is" or "He's blatantly wrong on so many points that it's laughable." Really sad that you characterize yourself as proving anything in this debate.


                      No, those comments came after previous debunkings. It became pointless to dig in and debunk him fully after he started going off the deep end. The fact that Terry ignores the relevant caselaw in most of these cases strikes me as incredibly intellectually dishonest. Defending such intellectual dishonesty... well... what does that make you?

                      Evidentiary purposes are not the only reason. We like to keep suspected criminals off the streets, which is why they can be arrested and detained before proof of guilt. Likewise, property can be seized in certain circumstances, criminal copyright infringement being one of them. Where there is probable cause to believe copyright infringement is taking place (remember, it doesn't have to be proven), property used in connection with that infringement can be seized so as to stem potential damage to the copyright holder

                      Sorry, no. That's not true if you're talking about PROTECTED SPEECH. Otherwise, you've just given the government the best tool for censorship ever.

                      And you're okay with this.

                      That's indefensible.

                      The claim that these seizures actually stop criminal infringement is laughable. This is censorship, at the behest of industry -- who sometimes doesn't even have the right to speak for the copyright holder (see Linares claiming to speak for Reek da Villian, whom he has no connection with). This is why the RIAA is so in favor of these seizures. It knows it probably broke the law in telling the government to seize sites by claiming infringement over works it had no connection with.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 6:14am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        As explained by Modplan and others below. There are clear alternatives here to such a seizure. There is no reason why this seizure made sense pre-adversarial hearing.

                        Modplan is looking at cases and law that DO NOT APPLY to these seizures, so what he's posting is meaningless here. Yes, a prior adversary hearing COULD happen, but you haven't shown that it MUST happen. Nor can you, because that's not the law.

                        No, those comments came after previous debunkings. It became pointless to dig in and debunk him fully after he started going off the deep end. The fact that Terry ignores the relevant caselaw in most of these cases strikes me as incredibly intellectually dishonest. Defending such intellectual dishonesty... well... what does that make you?

                        The one trying to avoid the relevant case law is you. You started by talking about obscenity cases, while completely ignoring copyright, trademark, and child porn cases. Now you're citing to Modplan's posts in this thread which talk about different kinds of seizures than we have here. Why don't you EVER talk about the law in the types of seizures at issue here?

                        Sorry, no. That's not true if you're talking about PROTECTED SPEECH. Otherwise, you've just given the government the best tool for censorship ever.

                        And you're okay with this.

                        That's indefensible.


                        The fact that there may have also been some protected speech that is affected by the seizures does not automatically make the seizures unconstitutional. You don't seem to grasp the law on this point. That's indefensible, since you put yourself out there as an expert on these things.

                        The claim that these seizures actually stop criminal infringement is laughable. This is censorship, at the behest of industry -- who sometimes doesn't even have the right to speak for the copyright holder (see Linares claiming to speak for Reek da Villian, whom he has no connection with). This is why the RIAA is so in favor of these seizures. It knows it probably broke the law in telling the government to seize sites by claiming infringement over works it had no connection with.

                        No have NO PROOF that these seizures did not actually stop any infringement. It's laughable that you claim to know for a fact what can only be a faith-based conclusion.

                         

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Your defending the blatant seizure of protected speech

                    No he's not. But you have been defending people that rip off music for years.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:13pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Why is it that people always seem to want to attack others and glare over the arguments presented such as how even the procedures the other AC put forth have not gone into effect?

                      Why is it that AC's want so desperately to fight more windmills and don't want to work on making their own businesses that much better?

                       

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                      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 1:22am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      No he's not.

                      Yes, actually, he is. This is not in question. Claiming that it is not censorship is pure intellectual dishonesty from someone who does not respect the Constitution.

                      But you have been defending people that rip off music for years

                      And that's you lying. I have never defended ripping off music. I spend a ridiculous amount of time helping content creators make more money.

                      I'm really sick of clueless folks accusing me of things that are blatantly false. What kind of person defends censorship, a lack of due process, and then lies about someone who helps content creators make money? A sick, sick individual. Get help.

                       

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 6:05am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Your defending the blatant seizure of protected speech in a way that is clearly abusive for the purpose of censorship, by citing a legal case that doesn't apply here. That's loopholing.

                    Nope, the case cited is completely applicable. The target of the seizures, i.e., the activity that drew the remedy in the first place, is not protected speech. You're the one trying to create a legal loophole, one that would benefit pirates no less, where no loophole exists.

                    No. I've argued the legal points as well. It's just that the discussion was getting down in the weeds and I wanted to discuss it on the actual merits rather than fighting with idiots arguing over legal loopholes. Instead, you guys show up and keep focusing on the loopholes.

                    You still haven't defended the actual action.


                    The domain names were seized so those domain names could not be used to commit further crimes. In that regard, the seizure is working perfectly.

                    Heh, leaning on Terry, who's been proven wrong so many times it's not even funny, doesn't help your case.

                    Your attempts to discredit the one person who systematically smacks you down is laughable. You haven't debunked a single argument of his. Not one. Nor can you. You just don't have the goods, Mike.

                    And, once again, Terry's explanation is incorrect here. There are *REASONS* why that chain of events happens in a criminal case, which is to take the property in for evidence. That's NOT NEEDED here.

                    You have not proved that the only reason a seizure may occur is to preserve evidence. In fact, the law gives several other reasons to seize property, including the reason being used here. Terry Hart has explained this in detail, citing legal authority. You have explained nothing.

                    So, let's try again. Why does it make sense to seize the domains here? Just answer that simple question. Don't tell me what the case law says. Don't quote Terry's legal loopholes.

                    Tell me why does it make sense? Simple question.


                    The reason is simple, and it's hilarious that you try and discredit it. The domain name is seized so that it cannot be used to commit more crimes. No more crimes are being committed with the seized domain names, so it's working.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:15am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The reason is simple, and it's hilarious that you try and discredit it. The domain name is seized so that it cannot be used to commit more crimes. No more crimes are being committed with the seized domain names, so it's working.

                      WHAT CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED AND WHY ARE THERE NO ARRESTS?!

                      How hard is that to comprehend? Why does the site owner have to lose their domain on an allegation?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:22am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        WHAT CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED AND WHY ARE THERE NO ARRESTS?!

                        How hard is that to comprehend? Why does the site owner have to lose their domain on an allegation?


                        No need to shout, I have good hearing. The crimes, as I mentioned above, are criminal infringement (copyright and trademark) and child porn. In each of those types of cases, upon showing of probable cause to a judge that some tool is being used to further such crime, a warrant for that tool's seizure can be issued. The tool can be seized. And after a forfeiture hearing, the seizure can become permanent. Another possibility is that the tool is returned. That's just how it works. It's not any sort of loophole.

                        There need not ever be any arrests for such seizures to take place. Although, don't forget that McCarthy was arrested in Texas.

                         

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                          Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:47am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          ... It's like your argument is looping back into itself.

                          The first accusation is CCI. How that works is that someone links to a website? That's passing the stretch test. A seizure is used to hold evidence, which Terry doesn't seem to quite grasp. Now, the evidence is gone for all intents and purposes as the accused has to find a new domain. So a game of Whack-A-Mole has ensued.

                          And now that everyone knows about the seizures, they aren't using US domains anymore and looking to make alternatives. So ICE's job is going to become rather difficult to do later on.

                          The child porn mark was a pretty foul taint on anyone's website. It's defamation and it should be fought.

                          Torrentfinder and the blogs have a very valid reason to fight the government.

                          But the problem that I see is that ICE isn't focusing on the arrests of the pedos. So like roaches, they're scurrying to get away. You want to keep saying that these seizures are okay? Be my guest. It seems you have no idea what's going on as a result and that's pretty sad.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:58am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            It's enough that criminal infringement was happening on the website, and the domain name was a tool that helped in that infringement. It doesn't even matter if it's the criminal who owns the domain name. The fact that the domain name is used to commit crimes makes it seizable, regardless of ownership.

                            COICA is designed to get around the problem of domain names being registered abroad.

                            The intended result of the seizures is that the domain name seized is not used to commit further crimes. The plan is working perfectly.

                             

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                              Modplan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:51am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              It's enough that criminal infringement was happening on the website, and the domain name was a tool that helped in that infringement.

                              It's telling that you assume this to be true, considering we already know for a fact the evidence that forms the basis of probable cause in these seizures is shaky at best.
                              The intended result of the seizures is that the domain name seized is not used to commit further crimes. The plan is working perfectly.
                              If by perfectly, you mean sites who had their domains seized were back up quickly, doing exactly what they were doing that apparently was criminal copyright infringement. Once again you make an erroneous assumption.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:17am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                It's telling that you assume this to be true, considering we already know for a fact the evidence that forms the basis of probable cause in these seizures is shaky at best.

                                All that matters for the sake of the warrant is that the affidavit establishes probable cause on its face.

                                If by perfectly, you mean sites who had their domains seized were back up quickly, doing exactly what they were doing that apparently was criminal copyright infringement. Once again you make an erroneous assumption.

                                Are people using the seized domain names to commit crimes? No. Exactly as planned. The remedy doesn't have to cure the evil 100% in order to be legal. It matters not that the pirates can set up shop again. They aren't setting up shop using the seized domain name. That's for sure. And that's the point.

                                 

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                                  Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:06pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  For the love of...

                                  You're not answering any questions and your absolutism is grating.

                                  First, the "criminals" are alleged. The defense of this comes down to that they're using a so called "tool" to commit a crime that they should be arrested for and have a day in court. The takedowns are about collecting evidence in regards to criminal copyright infringement, which hasn't happened for all parties involved. The government hasn't given these people a timetable to work with in regards to the laws. Since these have started there has been only ONE person charged. This is not adding up when the facts are looking you right in the face but you go on and on about irrelevant procedural issues.

                                  Common sense questions - Has this done anything to stop filesharing? Have these procedures done anything to promote or enforce copyright law fairly on both sides of the equation? Have these take downs shown any merit in the copyright wars, or do they show a disrespect for copyright law?

                                  Whack a Mole shall continue.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:34pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    Of course the criminals are only alleged criminals. Duh. There's only been a showing of probable cause. No one's been convicted, nor does anyone have to be. The seizures are not for the purpose of seizing evidence. They are for the purpose of preventing further crimes to committed using that tool.

                                    Are the seizures deterring crime? We shall see, I suppose. In the meantime, such conjecture seems meaningless to me.

                                     

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                                      proximity1, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 4:32am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      "They are for the purpose of preventing further crimes to committed using that tool."

                                      and,

                                      "Are the seizures deterring crime? We shall see, I suppose. In the meantime, such conjecture seems meaningless to me."

                                      Dear "Anonymous JD with a Computer Science Degree,"

                                      Surely, given the assertions you've made, the deterrant value is beside any point, isn't it? Even if there was no deterrant value, you could still assert, as I guess you would, that seizures are justified and justifiable solely on the claim that "They are for the purpose of preventing further crimes to committed using that tool."

                                      People who argue against others' objections which turn upon justice, fairness and common sense by pointing out that, in effect, "the law is the law is the law--don't like it? then lump it," don't impress me.

                                      Your arguments hold "the law" and "judges" who act in disregard of justice, fairness and common sense to ridicule. Lot's of things were once "the law" and thus perfectly "legal" at the time. The real problems (which you won't and don't dare touch) come from the generally growing awareness that the system which might once have underpinned your claims and aargumentation with some semblance of legitimacy is now so thoroughly rotten that your assertions not only ring hollow, but they are more and more generally seen to ring hollow.

                                      You're still screeching into the microphone about the Great and Powerful Oz while Toto has already drawn back the curtain to expose fraud and fakery. Ultimately, "the law" and the manner in which it is applied have to find some minimum of acceptability in the eyes not of the closed circle of the legal profession but in the eyes of ordinary people who are subjected to it. When it fails that test, "the law" and all those who rely on nothing more than bald repetition of "but that's the way the law is interpreted!" are going to reap the Furies' whirlwind they sown.

                                      In persuing the prosecution of alleged criminal activity, one can fall afoul of the mistake doing more real harm to society and to the law's legitimacy than the actual criminal activity allegedly being perpetrated and prosecuted. And that seems to me to be, if not where we are already, where you'd readily take us. Though, for my part, the minimum of practical legitimacy in U.S. law and legal practice was--speaking of forfeitures--forfeited long ago. I see a society the basic foundations of which are now so completely rotten that it's a marvel to me that things haven't already collapsed.

                                      Mark it: plenty of high-ranking U.S. government officials look on the popular uprisings in North Africa with undisguised dread because they see and see rightly that the ground on which their own legitimacy stands is hardly more sure and stable.

                                      Remember, "If you give up the right to remain silent, your advanced degrees can and will be used against you by those whose faith and trust you've abused."

                                      The court you're arguing before here, the court of popular opinion and common-sense, is the ultimate one, the one to which even the U.S. Supreme Court must appeal and with which its rulings must eventually find favor or, if not, then fail and be swept aside.

                                       

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                              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:11pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              It's enough that criminal infringement was happening on the website, and the domain name was a tool that helped in that infringement. It doesn't even matter if it's the criminal who owns the domain name. The fact that the domain name is used to commit crimes makes it seizable, regardless of ownership.

                              COICA is designed to get around the problem of domain names being registered abroad.

                              The intended result of the seizures is that the domain name seized is not used to commit further crimes. The plan is working perfectly.


                              You appear to have set up a standard that completely tosses out both free speech and due process.

                              All you have to do is make a weak claim that there's criminal infringement (even if there's not, and even if you're mistaken). Then you can stifle speech. Why is it okay? Because that "tool" is no longer being used to break the law? Does that violate free speech? Well, that's "merely incidental" and the "right to free speech is not absolute."

                              Based on your thinking, the government can now censor at will. All they have to do is make a claim of criminal copyright infringement (which is quite easy, as we've seen). They don't have to prove anything. And they can seize the entire internet and anyone's computers. Anyone's. After all, it stops "the crime" (which still isn't defined) so it's "working" and any stifling of free speech is "merely incidental."

                              If that doesn't scare you, you're not paying attention. You're justifying the rules that let the government censor whomever they want, or even take down the entire internet. If that's what you went to law school for, you should demand your money back.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:47pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                You appear to have set up a standard that completely tosses out both free speech and due process.

                                Nope. They are accounted for, alive and well. That's just FUD, Mike.

                                All you have to do is make a weak claim that there's criminal infringement (even if there's not, and even if you're mistaken). Then you can stifle speech. Why is it okay? Because that "tool" is no longer being used to break the law? Does that violate free speech? Well, that's "merely incidental" and the "right to free speech is not absolute."

                                If the seizure of the tool also affects protected speech, then that effect is incidental. The First Amendment isn't a shield for pirates.

                                Based on your thinking, the government can now censor at will. All they have to do is make a claim of criminal copyright infringement (which is quite easy, as we've seen). They don't have to prove anything. And they can seize the entire internet and anyone's computers. Anyone's. After all, it stops "the crime" (which still isn't defined) so it's "working" and any stifling of free speech is "merely incidental."

                                You love to jump to extremes and spread the FUD. The government can ALREADY make up any claim it wants and have people arrested. This is nothing new. Sometimes powers get abused. This is also nothing new. Nobody's seizing the entire internet. You sound like a kook.

                                If that doesn't scare you, you're not paying attention. You're justifying the rules that let the government censor whomever they want, or even take down the entire internet. If that's what you went to law school for, you should demand your money back.

                                You haven't brought up the law school thing in a while. That's when I know you're at the bottom of the barrel. You just sound like a crazy person at this point, talking about censoring the entire internet. No, Mike, they're just going after your pirate friends. Of course you're upset. You can try and couch your arguments as some kind of appeal to the Constitution, but it's quite clear that your arguments are about policy and not the Constitution. If you want policy to change, look to Congress. Your FUD won't work in the courts.

                                 

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                                  Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:50pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  You're using that same faulty logic that impedes on your progress man. I worry for the absolutism of the lawyers in this country. They don't see anything other than what they want to see and that's a problem...

                                  "If the seizure of the tool also affects protected speech, then that effect is incidental. The First Amendment isn't a shield for pirates."

                                  Pirate, criminal... Everything but the accused party has no rights because the law says so. Obviously, being the second class citizen that they are, I guess we should make separate water fountains for pirates than others.

                                  How about we make a 3/4 clause for the right of a pirate to vote? Or maybe, just maybe we should hose down those filthy pirates because they might infect us with scurvy?

                                  You are dismissing people for no other reason than your own bias against them for nothing more than supposed economic harm. You don't see them as needing rights of any kind because supposedly they're harming artists, which is dubious at best. The right to face your accuser, the right to your property being judged accurately and fairly BEFORE it's taken away, the right for you to look someone in the eye and have your say in the hearing. THOSE are the rights we're discussing here. THESE are the things that ICE is not looking into that would change the rules to one that's at least a little more balanced.

                                  People acknowledge that copyright laws are for the middlemen. People know that this is basically useless because it damages the Constitutional Amendments we have.

                                  The ones that apply -

                                  1st - Right to free speech
                                  4th - Unreasonable search and seizure
                                  5th - Due Process clause (which the rubber stamp of Nagle or any other judge is again, NOT due process)
                                  14th - Freedom of contracts (along with reiteration of Due Process)

                                  The facts we know are thus:
                                  Regarding the 1st, any blogs or forums lost speech and writing based on these take downs.

                                  Regarding the 4th, ICE made no mention of actually seizing any of the accounts without due process (Hence, the mooo.com incident)

                                  Regarding the 5th and 14th Amendments, the "probable cause" that you use as a lifeline again, is not survivable in the due process cause. Due process is the fact that a person can have their say in court. That's something you continue to ignore in any capacity to sit here and talk about those derned pirates. Stop.

                                  They have a right to have access to courts. They have a right to know what charges they are facing. They have a right to know who says their website is illegal BEFORE anything is taken down from them. If there IS a problem, these people have a right to know what it is that can be solved.

                                  They don't have a right to be badgered and harassed based on faulty logic and accusation. They don't have a right to have the government come in to usurp their property through dubious means at the whim of a third party. This is the common sense that Mike is talking about.

                                  This is what you continue to ignore.

                                   

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                                  vivaelamor (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:27am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "You love to jump to extremes and spread the FUD. The government can ALREADY make up any claim it wants and have people arrested. This is nothing new. Sometimes powers get abused. This is also nothing new. Nobody's seizing the entire internet. You sound like a kook."

                                  You think HE sounds like a kook? You're the one implying that due process is unimportant by pointing out that the government has unlimited power anyway. The whole point of due process is to keep that power in check.

                                  It's no wonder you post anonymously.

                                   

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                herodotus (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:42pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You see, Mike I think you are making a fundamental mistake about the legal mind.

                There is never any question of 'right' or 'wrong' divorced from what one can get away with in court. There is no purpose to the law outside of it's practice.

                I'm not saying that all lawyers are this amoral, but our legal system does seem to turn out quite a few who are. Perhaps it's a form of cynicism. Perhaps it's straight up nihilism. Perhaps it's a simple desire not to be a loser in what is perceived to be a zero-sum game.

                But whatever it is, our country is filled with it: not just because of all the practicing lawyers, but because very few people seem to be able to enter public office without first becoming a member of the bar association.

                It's kind of creepy, actually.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 7:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Dude, not everyone agrees with you. That doesn't mean they're amoral, whether they're a lawyer or not. Relax. It's okay if people disagree.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Another legal loopholist.

                I'm asking you to defend the reasons for this. You can't. So you're not.


                You are lying at this point. The reason, the actual reason, has been explained to you. Are people using the seized domain names to commit further crimes? No.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:08pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Are they using similar domain names to continue on with their lives despite imaginary crimes? Yes.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Are they using similar domain names to continue on with their lives despite imaginary crimes? Yes.

                    Faith-based, but irrelevant even if true. You do not know for a fact that no people were deterred from committing further criminal acts as a result of the seizures. I bet McCarthy has cooled his pirating.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:18pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      100 sites taken down.

                      Faithbased?

                      TVShack - So is ICE going for a hat trick?

                      torrentfinder

                      dajaz1

                      Onsmash

                      Are you trying to be obtuse? I mean seriously? You name one person from an arrest recently and expect me to swallow that none of the other sites have moved on from US domains? Are you not really paying attention to the unintended consequences of the ICE's actions?

                      It doesn't matter about a few people being deterred from piracy. If anything, case history shows us exactly what more enforcement is going to do. Nothing.

                      Napster vs RIAA Napster goes bankrupt. Did people stop sharing files?

                      MGM vs Grokster Same question. We got an inducement charge for P2P. Again, filesharing has not stopped.

                      RIAA filesharing litigation suit - How has that turned out? So they go running to Uncle Sam to deal with their economic problem and you're calling ME faith based?

                       

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          Planespotter (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But they didn't take away the servers... and it would only take a few minutes to locate the IP address of the site to be able to continue browsing as people had before.

          You cannot use your "removal of their tools" arguement if you do not apparantly grasp how the internet works. Removing their doamin name simply removed "the friendly name" of their site, it didn't stop the actual site from functioning via another address system. I'm trying hard to figure some anolgy for this and at the moment all I have is that this is akin to taking away one set of keys to a cocaine dealers car in the full knowledge that he has another set.... not perfect and definately not fully thought through.

           

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      Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Awww. You're being so precious...
      Tell you what, as soon as I get back to my computer, I'll post from the media piracy report that thoroughly destroys your argument.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re:

        My argument that the instrumentalities of crime can be seized upon a showing of probable cause to a judge for reasons other than the preservation of evidence? I doubt it.

         

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          Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Repeating the argument doesn't change the fact that no crime has been processed, no criminal charges filed, and no economic harm assessed. Why do you continuously mislead the conversation in that manner?

           

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            Bruce Ediger (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Why do you continuously mislead the conversation in that manner?


            I think it's an attempt by some organization(s) with the rumored "persona management software" to put a big, fat, meme in the general public's subconscious. It's a lot like the "Drive Drunk - Go To Jail" tee vee ad campaign. The point of that campaign is to make all possible jurors see "DUI" as a black-or-white binary situation, without nuance. Any defense attorney doesn't stand a chance of getting a jury to look at the facts if that campaign succeeds.

            Similarly, F. Fud Bailey's Coporate Overlords want nearly everyone to think of "copyright infringement" as theft, or worse, CHILD PRON. By constantly repeating the assertion in every possible circumstance, no matter how small or obscure, then nearly all of the American public will have been exposed to it, and will "just believe it".

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Repeating the argument doesn't change the fact that no crime has been processed, no criminal charges filed, and no economic harm assessed. Why do you continuously mislead the conversation in that manner?

            None of those are legally necessary to instigate a seizure and forfeiture, so why would it matter? By bringing up things that don't matter in the analysis, you're the one being misleading.

             

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              Jay (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 5:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "None of those are legally necessary to instigate a seizure and forfeiture, so why would it matter?"

              Let me make sure I've gotten this straight...

              A seizure is allowed to happen with no crime committed, NO CRIMINAL CHARGES FILED (save for Bryan and the channelsurf case), and nothing more than a magistrate judge's ok.

              BUT, the victim of this legally bullying tactic has no choice but to have their house raided, property seized, for no reason other than the stamp of a judge that they haven't met.

              Can you kindly cut the sophistry from your argument and answer the damn questions put forth? What's incredibly frustrating is trying to get an answer from you when you want to lead on with an appeal to moralistic fallacy.

              This isn't a legal brief, it's an argument where I've been VERY clear, and VERY succint with my argument. I've asked you TWO questions from earlier and I will put them here:

              Who is being arrested in THIS country for CCI?

              Further,the charge of CCI doesn't explain ANY of the former takedowns from July or Nov, only Bryan's from Jan, which is a dubious charge at best.

              How have these seizures been through due process without any type of safeguard to the people involved? Why is it that ICE was allowed to take down 84,000 sites at the flick of a switch?

              They are not irrelevant to the laws involved, they are the crux of the issue. If you can't answer them, that's fine but this means you have no reason talking as if you're the only authority figure in regards to their legality.

               

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          Modplan (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Small Packages: Ex Parte Property Seizures under Rule 65
          The provisions of federal Rule 65(b) are applicable to this relatively narrow but important band of cases involving copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, in which ex parte relief is often essential if the case is not to become an exercise in futility.1 But Rule 65(b) with its companion requirements “is no mere extract from a manual of procedural practice. It is a page from the book of liberty”2 and obtaining no-notice relief in such cases is hardly a foolproof process.

          Under Rule 65(b) a temporary restraining order may be granted without notice only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury will result to the applicant before the adverse party or its attorney can be heard in opposition; and (2) the applicant’s attorney certifies to the court in writing the reasons supporting his claim that notice should not be required.3 While the applicant must also make the case for preliminary injunctive relief based upon irreparable injury and a balance of the equities,4 the immediate and irreparable harm to which Rule 65(b) speaks is the harm that will follow if notice is given to the adverse party prior to the hearing on the restraining order itself

          As one commentator explained:
          The ex parte temporary restraining order is indispensable to the commencement of an action when it is the sole method of preserving a state of affairs in which the court can provide effective final relief. Immediate action is vital when imminent destruction of the disputed property, its removal beyond the confines of the state, or its sale to an innocent third party is threatened. In these situations, giving the defendant notice of the application for an injunction could result in an inability to provide any relief at all.5

          But just because the law sets forth a procedure for obtaining ex parte relief in situations where the property in dispute must be preserved, the advocate should not presume such relief will be available in her case, even if it seems highly likely the property in question will disappear following notice. The court in American Can Co. v. Mansukhani put it this way:
          “Our entire jurisprudence runs counter to the notion of court action taken before reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard has been granted both sides of a dispute,” and the procedural hurdles of Rule 65 are intended to force both the movant and the court to act with great care in seeking and issuing an ex parte restraining order.6

          While it may seem self-evident to the advocate that the property at issue will disappear, that assumption standing alone will probably not be enough to convince the court to do away with the defendant’s 5th Amendment right to due process.7

          [...]

          In 2001 the outdated Copyright Rules were abrogated by order of the Supreme Court and Federal Rule 65 was amended to include a new subdivision, Rule 65(f), covering copyright impoundment proceedings. With respect to the no-notice seizure issue,15 the practical result of placing copyright impoundment proceedings under the auspices of Rule 65 was to directly bring into play Rule 65(b), providing that a temporary restraining order may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party only if the applicant can clearly demonstrate by specific facts that immediate and irreparable injury will result if notice is given before the adverse party can be heard. The reporter’s notes to Rule 65(f) make it clear that ex parte copyright impoundment may be ordered under Rule 65(b) only if the applicant makes a strong showing of the reasons why notice is likely to defeat effective relief.16

          [...]

          Indicative of the court’s reluctance to grant ex parte relief is Paramount Pictures Corp. vs. Jane Doe 1 and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. vs. Jane Doe 2, 821 F. Supp. 82 (E.D.N.Y. 1993), in which the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought ex parte seizure orders in companion copyright infringement cases involving videocassettes. The court held that even where it has been established that the property to be seized is of a type that can be readily concealed, disposed of, or destroyed the plaintiff nonetheless must allege specific facts based on actual knowledge supporting its right to seize the property without notice. The Paramount court rejected as conclusory the plaintiffs’ argument that, because allegedly infringing videocassettes are small, lightweight and easily hidden or destroyed, film pirates will destroy or conceal them if apprised of a pending infringement action. In so holding the Paramount court held that the plaintiffs’ theory was “not backed up by any specifics about either the defendants in these actions or others.”17

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Modplan,

            These are not seizures under Rule 65, so everything you've posted is inapplicable to these seizures.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It turns out to the best of my knowledge you are correct. I confused 506 for 503. However, much of the same principles in justifying an ex parte seizure would also apply here, particularly with issues of prior restraint and the lack of convincing argument ICE made to justify why the domains needed to be seized (the crime was not stopped, and seizing the domain to prevent potential future crime of others is essentially doing a Mystic Meg impression).

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It turns out to the best of my knowledge you are correct. I confused 506 for 503. However, much of the same principles in justifying an ex parte seizure would also apply here, particularly with issues of prior restraint and the lack of convincing argument ICE made to justify why the domains needed to be seized (the crime was not stopped, and seizing the domain to prevent potential future crime of others is essentially doing a Mystic Meg impression).

                But that's just it--those "same principles in justifying an ex parte seizure" do not apply. It's enough to demonstrate probable cause of the property's use in the commission of a crime to a judge. You may not consider the seizures to be effective, but the fact remains that the seized domain names are no longer being used to commit crimes. That means they're effective in the way that it matters.

                 

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                  Modplan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:00am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  On no measure are they effective in the "way that it matters". It is painfully obvious from the agents specific argument that the intention was for people to be unable to access the sites - which failed - and that the seizure would stop future crimes that hadn't happened yet and weren't likely to. Wendy Seltzer - the one who started chillingeffects.org - had brought up exactly the same point before the affadavit was public:
                  What I'd like to see instead is due process for the accused before domain names are seized and sites disrupted. I'd like to know that the magistrate judge saw an accurate affidavit, and reviewed it with enough expertise to distinguish the location of complained-of material and the responsibility the site's owners bear for it: the difference between direct, contributory, vicarious, and inducement of copyright infringement (for any of which a site-owner might be held liable, in appropriate circumstances) and innocent or protected activity.

                  In the best case, the accused gets evidence of the case against him or her and the opportunity to challenge it. We tend to believe that the adversarial process, judgment after argument between the parties with the most direct interests in the matter, best and most fairly approaches the truth. These seizures, however, are conducted ex parte, with only the government agent presenting evidence supporting a seizure warrant. (We might ask why: a domain name cannot disappear or flee the jurisdiction if the accused is notified — the companies running the .com, .net, and .org registries where these were seized have shown no inclination to move or disregard US court orders, while if the name stops resolving, that's the same resolution ICE seeks by force.)


                  Your argument keeps moving back to vague assertions, and never deals with the facts of the case. This indicates a weak argument, in particular assuming outright that direct criminal copyright infringement occurred here (the fact that one site was a glorified search engine implies at best contributory infringement) based solely on the accusation (the affidavit certainly isn't worth a damn as a basis for concluding this outright).

                  The only basis I've found in justifying any ex parte seizure has been that not granting the seizure would cause irreparable harm and that notification would allow for evidence to be destroyed. Neither of these are likely to have occurred, and in the latter, nor could it occur.

                  The seizures were not effective where it counts, as they weren't even effective on the basis of the ICE agents own reasoning.

                  Also:
                  (B) there is probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture and—
                  (i) the seizure is made pursuant to a lawful arrest or search; or
                  (ii) another exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement would apply; or
                  http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/981.html#b


                  Note the use of and, not or, along with probable cause referring to property being subject to forfeiture, not that probable cause is the standard for the seizure itself, unless there's a difference in legalese from what to me seems like the plain meaning. The only exception to Fourth Amendment would precisely be the standards already referenced.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:22am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The property is subject to seizure because any property used to commit or facilitate criminal copyright infringement is forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. 2323.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:47am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Also:

                    (B) there is probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture and—
                    (i) the seizure is made pursuant to a lawful arrest or search; or
                    (ii) another exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement would apply; or
                    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/981.html#b

                    Note the use of and, not or, along with probable cause referring to property being subject to forfeiture, not that probable cause is the standard for the seizure itself, unless there's a difference in legalese from what to me seems like the plain meaning. The only exception to Fourth Amendment would precisely be the standards already referenced.


                    Looking at the whole section, it shows your interpretation is faulty:
                    (b)
                    (1) Except as provided in section 985, any property subject to forfeiture to the United States under subsection (a) may be seized by the Attorney General and, in the case of property involved in a violation investigated by the Secretary of the Treasury or the United States Postal Service, the property may also be seized by the Secretary of the Treasury or the Postal Service, respectively.
                    (2) Seizures pursuant to this section shall be made pursuant to a warrant obtained in the same manner as provided for a search warrant under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, except that a seizure may be made without a warrant if—
                    (A) a complaint for forfeiture has been filed in the United States district court and the court issued an arrest warrant in rem pursuant to the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims;
                    (B) there is probable cause to believe that the property is subject to forfeiture and—
                    (i) the seizure is made pursuant to a lawful arrest or search; or
                    (ii) another exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement would apply; or
                    (C) the property was lawfully seized by a State or local law enforcement agency and transferred to a Federal agency.
                    Note that those criteria you're citing only apply if there is NO WARRANT. The preamble to section you quoted says, "a seizure may be made without a warrant if . . . ." Those criteria are not applicable here since there is a warrant.

                     

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                      Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:59pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      And yet another question:

                      Why has it been that the courts are closed soon after the affidavit is sent out?

                      The argument FOR this is growing weaker when there's a larger collusion of govn. entities.

                       

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                      Modplan (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:38am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      The property is subject to seizure because any property used to commit or facilitate criminal copyright infringement is forfeitable under 18 U.S.C. 2323.

                      I never said otherwise, I was trying to parse the language in its difference between saying you can seize based entirely on probable cause, or that it was saying you can seize only if you believe the property to be subject to forfeiture.
                      Note that those criteria you're citing only apply if there is NO WARRANT. The preamble to section you quoted says, "a seizure may be made without a warrant if . . . ." Those criteria are not applicable here since there is a warrant.

                      Then what would precisely apply in an instance with a warrent? Well, it seems these would, as far as I can tell:
                      (d)
                      (1) Real property may be seized prior to the entry of an order of forfeiture if—

                      (A) the Government notifies the court that it intends to seize the property before trial; and

                      (B) the court—

                      (i) issues a notice of application for warrant, causes the notice to be served on the property owner and posted on the property, and conducts a hearing in which the property owner has a meaningful opportunity to be heard; or

                      (ii) makes an ex parte determination that there is probable cause for the forfeiture and that there are exigent circumstances that permit the Government to seize the property without prior notice and an opportunity for the property owner to be heard.

                      (2) For purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(ii), to establish exigent circumstances, the Government shall show that less restrictive measures such as a lis pendens, restraining order, or bond would not suffice to protect the Government’s interests in preventing the sale, destruction, or continued unlawful use of the real property.

                      (e) If the court authorizes a seizure of real property under subsection (d)(1)(B)(ii), it shall conduct a prompt post-seizure hearing during which the property owner shall have an opportunity to contest the basis for the seizure.


                      (f) This section—
                      (1) applies only to civil forfeitures of real property and interests in real property;
                      (2) does not apply to forfeitures of the proceeds of the sale of such property or interests, or of money or other assets intended to be used to acquire such property or interests; and
                      (3) shall not affect the authority of the court to enter a restraining order relating to real property.

                      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000985----000-.html


                      T hose exigent circumstances would come back again to the standards mentioned previously, it would seem.

                       

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      If you want to take away the tools of copyright infringement, taking away a domain name is about the most useless thing that could have been done. You've still left the alleged infringer with computers to do copying with and servers and internet access to transport those copies. All you've done is removed his PO Box. Not his address. And his ability to get another PO Box is not hampered.

      Are you going to start justifying drug related seizures where the cops simply seize the alleged drug dealers socks and nothing else? Sure it's an inconvenience to have no socks, but it doesn't exactly make it impossible for him to continue dealing drugs.

      Remember, the domain names themselves are not infringing. The content on the servers was what was alleged to be infringing on the copyrights. Did they take that away? No. Did they take their servers? No. Did they take their internet access? No. Did they shut off their power? No. Then what tool did they take away from them? Oh yeah, a domain name which can be had for a couple of bucks from the nearest registrar of choice.

      So answer what tools they took away that stop the crime, or that even provide evidence of the crime allegedly committed.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      LOL epic paytard troll fail.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re:

        How did I fail? I answered his question. The reasoning behind the seizures is quite simple. What are your arguments? Feel free to join the discussion.

         

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      Rekrul, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      So your argument is that despite the fact that it's the law, it shouldn't be the law, so let's not do it? That's not very persuasive.

      At one time, slavery was legal. Was that right?

      Agree with it or not, but criminals' tools get taken away upon a showing of probable cause. You take the tools so the criminals can't continue to use them to commit further crimes. It quite a simple concept, and it's hilarious that you think the law is somehow twisted because it allows for criminals' tools to be taken away from them.

      No, the law is twisted because asset forfeiture has been used to confiscate the property of completely innocent people. Have a large amount of cash on you when you're stopped by the police? It must be drug money: Confiscated! Have a wild Marijuana plant growing on your property that you didn't even know about? Obviously your home is being used for a drug operation: Confiscated!

      In most cases, the person whose property is seized is never even charged with a crime, and getting it returned is virtually impossible, often costing more in legal fees than it's worth.

      Think I'm making this up? Just do a Google search for abuse of asset seizure laws.

      People have had their property taken and been locked up upon a showing of probable cause to a judge since the founding of this nation. It's exactly supposed to work like this.

      Did you know that something like 90% of the paper money in circulation in the US has come into contact with drugs at some point? Did you know that drug-sniffing dogs can detect these faint drug traces even months later? Did you know that even though this is a KNOWN fact, police will happily use this as "probable cause" to confiscate your money, even if you just walked out of the bank after cashing your paycheck?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 6:31pm

        Re: Re:

        At one time, slavery was legal. Was that right?

        Definitely not. So why do you make artists work for you for free? Like the slaves had to. Hmmm?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 8:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So where's the Underground Railroad of artists/slaves? Just curious.

           

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          Rekrul, Mar 25th, 2011 @ 7:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Definitely not. So why do you make artists work for you for free? Like the slaves had to. Hmmm?

          I'd like to buy legal copies of the following TV shows;

          All Souls
          Beyond Westworld
          Close to Home
          Committed
          Dead Last
          Harry and the Hendersons: The Series
          Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The Series
          Listen Up
          Monsters
          Night Visions
          Special Unit 2
          Still Standing
          Strange Luck
          Summerland
          Thanks
          Werewolf
          Young Americans

          Can you please point me to a legal source for these? I'm ready to give my money to the people who made these shows, just tell me where I can go to buy them.

          Once you've helped me find the above, I have a whole bunch of movies I've been looking for...

           

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            artistrights (profile), Mar 25th, 2011 @ 6:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because of course, you are entitled to these tv shows, and any denial of your entitlement should allow you to break the law (and, incidentally, support sites that are not as discriminate as you are). Got it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              They aren't sold and thus aren't making anyone any money, yet you see someone - who wants to pay but ISN'T GIVEN THE CHANCE TO DO SO - as taking money out of someone's pocket when they are able to obtain it...non-existent money gone for something no one's selling anyway...you see that person that would pay but couldn't as a criminal...

              You know that's stupid, right?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 2:43pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                If it isn't available anywhere, how has it been ripped and distributed via torrent or P2P?

                Regardless, I get it. If you want it and it's not available that sucks for you, and it may very well be a loss for the copyright owner (or maybe not). But that doesn't justify taking another's property. The point of copyright is that it gives the owner the right to distribute their work or not distribute their work as they desire. After all, it's their work. The fact that you really, really want it doesn't change anything. And, in my opinion, laws should protect the author's choice (you know, the one who actually spent the time and effort creating something).

                 

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      Matt (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:58pm

      Re:

      There are plenty of ways to take away the criminal's tools. Disregarding for a moment that shutting down DNS does not actually do so (it merely cuts down on dissemination, which may reduce his incentives for the criminal conduct,) and regardless of whether it is a proper action of government to seize domains on probable cause without process, here the government took away tools from people that it now admits were never even suspected of criminal activity.

      The general rule is that the government has to have a legitimate purpose for every action it takes. When that action infringes any person's (including a criminal's) free speech rights, the government has to meet a higher threshold. Here, in order to impose a prior restraint on unobjectionable speech, the government would have to demonstrate that its actions were narrowly tailored (meaning the least restrictive alternative) to accomplishing a compelling government purpose. Wholesale domain seizures do not fit the bill. This is per se unconstitutional. That is a problem.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 1:03pm

        Re: Re:

        There are plenty of ways to take away the criminal's tools. Disregarding for a moment that shutting down DNS does not actually do so (it merely cuts down on dissemination, which may reduce his incentives for the criminal conduct,) and regardless of whether it is a proper action of government to seize domains on probable cause without process, here the government took away tools from people that it now admits were never even suspected of criminal activity.

        To which case are you referring? Regardless, it is enough that it is property used to commit or facilitate crime. It matters not who owns it.

        The general rule is that the government has to have a legitimate purpose for every action it takes. When that action infringes any person's (including a criminal's) free speech rights, the government has to meet a higher threshold. Here, in order to impose a prior restraint on unobjectionable speech, the government would have to demonstrate that its actions were narrowly tailored (meaning the least restrictive alternative) to accomplishing a compelling government purpose. Wholesale domain seizures do not fit the bill. This is per se unconstitutional. That is a problem.

        There is no heightened scrutiny in criminal infringement (copyright or trademark) or child porn cases. You are making that up. That's not what the law actually is.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 4:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There is no heightened scrutiny in criminal infringement (copyright or trademark) or child porn cases. You are making that up. That's not what the law actually is.

          Well, first of all, you're focusing on the legal loophole, but just functionally, you're wrong:


          Thus, while the general rule under the Fourth Amendment is that any and all contraband, instrumentalities, and evidence of crimes may be seized on probable cause (and even without a warrant in various circumstances), it is otherwise when materials presumptively protected by the First Amendment are involved... It is "[t]he risk of prior restraint, which is the underlying basis for the special Fourth Amendment protections accorded searches for and seizure of First Amendment materials" that motivates this rule.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well, first of all, you're focusing on the legal loophole, but just functionally, you're wrong:


            Thus, while the general rule under the Fourth Amendment is that any and all contraband, instrumentalities, and evidence of crimes may be seized on probable cause (and even without a warrant in various circumstances), it is otherwise when materials presumptively protected by the First Amendment are involved... It is "[t]he risk of prior restraint, which is the underlying basis for the special Fourth Amendment protections accorded searches for and seizure of First Amendment materials" that motivates this rule.


            That doesn't prove anything. The target of the seizures was no protected speech, and the effect on protected speech was merely incidental. It's not a legal loophole. It's the actual law.

            You're whole "loophole" argument is clearly just your latest rhetorical device. It's a frivolous argument.

             

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              Modplan (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That doesn't prove anything. The target of the seizures was no protected speech, and the effect on protected speech was merely incidental. It's not a legal loophole. It's the actual law.

              Once again your argument is based on taking ICE's word upfront. We already know the primary purpose of sites like Dajaz1 was protected speech, with evidence used to support the idea of illegally distributing copyrighted material being false, and that the materials used to support the seizures were in fact authorised.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


              That doesn't prove anything. The target of the seizures was no protected speech, and the effect on protected speech was merely incidental. It's not a legal loophole. It's the actual law.


              I'm sorry, but no shutting down of protected speech is ever "merely incidental." Claiming so is ridiculous.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm sorry, but no shutting down of protected speech is ever "merely incidental." Claiming so is ridiculous.

                Legally speaking, that is simply untrue. You're the one being absolutely ridiculous on this point. It's incidental because the protected speech was not the target of the seizure. The fact that you don't acknowledge an understanding of this simple point makes you look quite silly.

                The court in Arcara acknowledged that protected speech could be incidentally affected while enforcing other laws. The Court noted that in fact whenever anything is seized, there will almost always be some protected speech that is affected. The test isn't whether protected speech is affected or not. The test is whether or not that affectation (which is almost certain to exist) is permissible.

                You haven't got a leg to stand on on this point. Care to cite legal authority to try and back up your argument? I doubt it.

                 

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      proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:08am

      RE: Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:03am




      "Not all speech is treated the same, and it doesn't all get the special treatment. We all know you interpret the First Amendment literally. The "no law" part is not taken literally in the real world, though."



      I thought that the U.S. Constitution's core preceps--and if the "Bill of Rights" aren't that, then what are they?--were not only written in and for "the real world," but were intended to endure through the long evolution of human affairs, were intended to serve as basic markers of, in this case, inviolable rights.

      I also heard somewhere that, in law, words are supposed to be understood in their common everyday sense unless there is some truly exceptional and compelling reason not to do so, which would suggest to me that if the text reads "No law," then the actual (and, yes, "real world" ) meaning is "no law", "none", period.



      "I've offered the same reason--the actual reason--for quite some time. You just don't want to hear the truth. The reason is quite simple: if you take that tool away from the alleged criminal, that criminal can't use that tool to hurt his victims any further. Your problem is that you don't understand who's the criminal and who's the victim. We all know you think the defendant is the real victim."



      Isn't a "criminal" someone who has been convicted of a crime--via what Mike has referred to as due process? And, prior to conviction, isn't the term "suspect" rather than "criminal"? I grant that people suspected of felonies which involve deadly arms carried on their person are typically subject to physical search (this used to be only allowed on what was a warrant for arrest, issued by a judge upon the request of the police prosecutors, or, on direct probable cause, which the authorities were under an obligation to demonstrate, but that was then, I suppose) but here, what are we dealing with? People suspected of felony committed with the use of deadly weapons? Do these seized domains rise to that? Or has everything simply sunk to this level?--- a "criminal," not a "suspect," from the moment of falling under suspicion?

      You don't mention them specifically but there's every reason to suspose that you've apparently also dispensed with certain other pillars of due process, most notably the (now-tattered) writ of habeas corpus, which I guess is too liable to be abused by these as-yet-unconvicted "criminals".

      These "tools" must remain available to "criminals" because, otherwise, "innocent people" (maybe a novel concept to you) who find themselves under legal compulsion won't have them either:

      the right to remain silent, i.e. to refuse to be compelled to incriminate or act as a witness against oneself

      the right to counsel,

      the right to bring a writ of habeas corpus, which in practical terms means the right to be seen by a duly constituted court and be heard by a judge in order to test the soundness of the legal grounds for one's continued detention,

      etc.

      What you argue in favor of leaves us, in effect, having to submit to the unappealable retort of,

      "Because the police said so, that's why."

      When that becomes the rule of thumb, you're going to find that sooner or later cities will burn; and that will indicate the measure of your amazing failure of responisibility to somethiing called justice.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:49am

        Re:

        The fact is that many, many laws abridge our right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The right to freely express yourself is not absolute. It never has been. An example is defamation. You are not free to defame whomever you want without legal repercussions.

        Due process is thrown around like it's some magical thing that means domain names can't be seized. Due process is a term of art, and in order to determine if the seizures violate due process, you have to look at what the current law is on due process in such seizures. As it now stands, the law allows for the seizure of tools of crime upon showing probable cause to a judge. A forfeiture proceeding is initiated, and notice is given to the owner of the property seized. This satisfies due process according to the law.

         

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          Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re:

          "You are not free to defame whomever you want without legal repercussions."

          At least then, you can face your accuser. Also, there's the idea that what you think is defame is nothing more than someone saying "your hair smells bad".

          At least then, there's still common sense.

          "Due process is thrown around like it's some magical thing that means domain names can't be seized. Due process is a term of art, and in order to determine if the seizures violate due process, you have to look at what the current law is on due process in such seizures. As it now stands, the law allows for the seizure of tools of crime upon showing probable cause to a judge. A forfeiture proceeding is initiated, and notice is given to the owner of the property seized. This satisfies due process according to the law."

          Please stop trying to be Terry Hart Jr...

          If you're really going to start this, I'm going to bring up civil rights and how fighting for those is akin to this belief that laws are absolute.

          I'm also going to say that the Middle East's movement in regards to the laws used to oppress people might be legal, but they sure as certain aren't morally justified.

          The current law has been shown to be pretty weak, especially since ICE has to use drug seizure laws to deal with copyright infringement.

          Further, it's funny how no asks the question of why a site can be taken down when no owner either can, nor will come forth.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:20pm

          Re: Re:

          Has anything but the seizures taken place in any of these cases yet? I've lost track.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 12:54pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Has anything but the seizures taken place in any of these cases yet? I've lost track.

            Yes, forfeiture proceedings have been initiated and notice published for some of the seized domain names. In the channelsurfing case, McCarthy was arrested.

             

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    Mr. Smarta**, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:08am

    We have no rights.

    That's all a joke. We have no rights, no matter what country you're in. It doesn't matter if it's America, Canada, Spain, Russia, Durkastan, or Bumsville Idaho. Freedom is an illusion that comes in little fragments we're shown when we feel we need to see them. We don't get to own anything. We don't have the right to money, food, or oxygen. You own a house, it can be taken away from you in the name of 'eminent domain'. You own a website, it can be removed in the name of 'copyright'. You want to start a business making something, 'Sorry, that's covered by eighty million patents.'. That computer or laptop you're sitting in front of? Not yours, because some fed sitting behind a desk somewhere asked his buddy judge to take it from you. The only reason it's still there is because they haven't demanded it yet. Your stuff that you buy is actually 'on loan' to you until the government wants it.

    Your lawsuit that you bring to the courts to fight it? Sorry, you lost the moment they took your stuff. And if by some miracle you're found innocent or whatever... 'Sorry, you're stuff wound up in the toilet with fifteen pounds of crap on it. But you can have it back.' Your freedom? 'Sorry. We think you're guilty, so now you sit in jail for months stripped naked because you might asphixiate yourself on your own skidmarked drawers.' Freedom is an illusion.

     

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      Matthew (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:38pm

      Re: We have no rights.

      Though i think you're going a bit far, you did remind me of something i heard once.

      For most of the world, "freedom" means that the people with power step lightly on your neck.

       

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      proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:18am

      Re: We have no rights. / (?)

      "That's all a joke. We have no rights,"

      True-- esp. of those who won't defend them, who not only just surrender to the denial of their rights on their own parts but who seem also to contend that everyone else must and ought to, as well.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:09am

    I am a slacktivist. Make an online petition or letter regarding this issue to the people "representing" me in government and I'll sign it. Post a link here.

     

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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

    Just once I'd like to see the copyright maximalists say something along the lines of: "They didn't handle this properly at all. A quick simple trial would have nailed the offending sites properly. Unfortunately this was all handled incorrectly despite the best intentions to uphold the rights of the content producer."

    I could easily understand that kind of reasonable view from the other side but have NEVER been witness to it. I wonder why that is?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:12pm

      Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

      A quick simple trial would have nailed the offending sites properly

      Would that be quick and simple like Jammie Thomas? Internet time and real world time run at different speeds. 3 - 5 years of kicking this around courts, trying to figure out jurisidiction, hearing motions, perhaps issuing warrants for people outside of the country, going through discovery, depositions, perhaps executing some search warrants, and so on... by the time there is an answer most people would have forgotten the question.

      I don't know what world you like in Ron, but the real legal world just ain't that fast.

       

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        The Devil's Coachman (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 2:35pm

        Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

        So, according to you, the legal system in the US is just a giant slow pain in the ass, and expediency should trump due process?

         

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 3:59pm

        Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

        Would that be quick and simple like Jammie Thomas? Internet time and real world time run at different speeds.

        This is wrong. It ignores that in such cases it's easy for a judge to issue an injunction, as happened in the Napster case.

        On top of that, once again, as everyone else has been pointing out, seizing the domain didn't stop any of the infringement.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 5:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

          This is wrong. It ignores that in such cases it's easy for a judge to issue an injunction, as happened in the Napster case.

          The fact that the seizures COULD have happened after an adversary hearing is irrelevant. You haven't shown why they MUST take place that way.

          On top of that, once again, as everyone else has been pointing out, seizing the domain didn't stop any of the infringement.

          Are people using the seized domain names to commit further crimes? No. Do you have proof that NONE of the infringement was stopped by these seizures? No. It's faith-based FUD.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

            "The fact that the seizures COULD have happened after an adversary hearing is irrelevant. You haven't shown why they MUST take place that way."

            As we observe the ongoing aftermath of these seizures and the utter clusterspank of collateral damage they've inflicted, it seems to becoming rather apparent that they SHOULD hold an adversarial hearing prior to seizure.

            Upthread I mentioned that a hearing (or at least a letter or notice for the site owners to remediate) would serve to eliminate the need for further action or other jackassery (infringement was found to not have occurred, ICE doesn't make itself look the fool or invite lawsuits or congressional smackdown). Conversely, a hearing would STRENGTHEN the case/s for ICE if infringement is determined to have definitely occurred and therefore actions can proceed.

            These seizures without hearing or notice are nothing but a very poorly considered and executed shortcut that in the end 1) have done so little to stop infringement that to have done nothing would be as effective, 2) have inflicted untold damage on innocent bystanders, and 3) may well set a precedent that kneecaps this type of action in the future.

            Accusation is not proof. ICE should know better if they want a case to stick. Otherwise, they're just acting as thieves.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

              Accusation is not proof. ICE should know better if they want a case to stick. Otherwise, they're just acting as thieves.

              An affidavit stating probable cause is sufficient proof for the issuance of a seizure warrant. That's how it works. A constitutional challenge to these seizures is an uphill battle because it would mean overturning the controlling, precedent law. You can argue all day long that it shouldn't work like this, but in the end you have to convince the judiciary that it's unconstitutional. Considering the long history of seizures and forfeitures being upheld as constitutional, that argument seems destined to fail.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cue the parade of trolls in 3...2...1...

                My argument isn't so much the constitutionality but the wisdom of the seizures without a prior hearing if you want to actually make a case that has a decent chance of being won. Or at least not unduly sidetracked with poorly vetted evidence, inevitable constitutionality issues, defaming and creating hardship for thousands of people, violating first amendment rights for same...

                As it was done, it seems ICE has not concerned itself with anything like foresight regarding these issues and is only acting at the behest of accusers to do something RIGHT NOW with no follow-up intended: receive complaint, take complaint at face value, seize accused's private property, ???, profit...?

                They don't seem interested in making a decent case against those they've seized from, just seizing and dusting their hands and dismissive of the fallout, and that's a serious problem for all of us, guilty or not.

                That's how I'm perceiving all of this anyway, as a simple citizen. I think we can agree that whatever goes on or is shown next in these cases will be interesting to say the least.

                 

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    P.D., Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Haters...

    Haters Gonna Hate, Yo.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:37am

    While I recognize that he is counsel for various industry groups having a stake in COICA, it is nevertheless interesting to read Mr. Abrams letter to Mr. Leahy presenting arguments why COICA is consistent with the First Amendment.

    Mr. Abrams is a well known scholar and practitioner regarding the First Amendment, and was the counsel for the NYT in the matter of Sullivan v. New York Times (the "Pentagon Papers" case).

    This is not to say that Mr. Abrams' word is the "final word" on the subject, but only to note that he too, by your way of thinking, must be a lawyer who likewise engages in the exploitation of what you refer to as "loopholes".

     

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    MrWilson, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 11:40am

    This brings up another issue with "intellectual property." If expressions can be property, then free speech can be property. If free speech is property, then screw the First Amendment. We're not silencing your speech - we're seizing your property, criminal!

     

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    Rekrul, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    This isn't a minor issue. People in the US have been taught that we're innocent until proven guilty.

    All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.*


    *Some restrictions apply. Limited time offer. Not valid in all locations. Details may vary. Subject to eligibility.

     

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    AJ, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    They are being punished before they are found guilty plain and simple. Their site is worthless, the visitors now believe they were involved in illegal activities, and they have lost their storefront to their customers. Whats the point of dishing out money to fight the gov at that point?

    The Pirate Movie Sites reappeared shortly after the takedown, so the only people that really lost out in this case was the innocent.

    http://gigaom.com/video/pirate-movie-sites-reappear-after-ice-takedown/

    "For a domain name, even a short seizure effectively erases any value the asset has. Even if ultimately returned, it’s now worthless."

    "There’s no requirement for the government to explain the seizures are only temporary measures designed to safeguard property that may be evidence of crime or may be an asset used to commit it. Nor do they have to acknowledge that none of the owners of the domain names seized has been charged or convicted of any crime yet. "

    http://techliberation.com/2010/11/29/domain-name-seizures-and-the-limits-of-civil-forfeiture/#

    Throw your legal loop hole arguments around as you want, but all your doing is pissing off the innocent. The criminals will adapt, the innocent will revolt, no one wins these types of things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:16pm

    I would love to see where any of these domain thefts are putting even the slightest dent in file sharing... anyone?

    Instead of trying to hold back the ocean, try learning how to swim.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    They also have the right to pop back up under a different domain and continue as usual. This is exactly what they did, whack a mole anyone?

     

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    Joe Publius (profile), Mar 22nd, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    I understand now

    The opposition AC is Lawful Neutral. LN posters never consider whether or not the rule is harmful or beneficial, it's the rules! Order, once established, must be followed.

    Another of life's little questions answered by Dungeons and Dragons.

     

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    proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:00am

    no due process, no remedy (except "too little, too late")...

    "The affidavit stated probable cause, and a judge signed off on it. If the affidavit was flawed, there is a remedy to challenge it."

    Very good. What's the remedy? How is it applied?

    You've already ruled out due process prior to seizure as being what I can only call apparently a nuisance in your manner of reasoning. So, what's the "remedy" to challenge "it"? (a faulty finding of probable cause, that is.)

    More irrelevant language in the "real world"?:

    ... "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:44am

      Re: no due process, no remedy (except "too little, too late")...

      Very good. What's the remedy? How is it applied?

      You've already ruled out due process prior to seizure as being what I can only call apparently a nuisance in your manner of reasoning. So, what's the "remedy" to challenge "it"? (a faulty finding of probable cause, that is.)

      More irrelevant language in the "real world"?:

      ... "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"


      The remedy is in court. The owners of the defendant property are given a chance to challenge the seizures at the forfeiture hearing.

       

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    proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:09am

    the dispute isn't about the affidavit's 'flaws,' but the judge's finding that ...

    probable cause was satisfied, right?

    Rule 1. Judges are always correct in their findings of the presence probable cause.

    Rule 2. In the event of a judge's faulty finding that probable cause was present see Rule 1.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:45am

      Re: the dispute isn't about the affidavit's 'flaws,' but the judge's finding that ...

      probable cause was satisfied, right?

      Rule 1. Judges are always correct in their findings of the presence probable cause.

      Rule 2. In the event of a judge's faulty finding that probable cause was present see Rule 1.


      It is my opinion that the affidavit stated sufficient probable cause. If the owner of the defendant property wishes to argue otherwise, they have a chance to do so down the road. That's how these things work. That's how they've worked for years and years.

       

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        Jay (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re: the dispute isn't about the affidavit's 'flaws,' but the judge's finding that ...

        Bullshit. If there's a drug seizure, the person doesn't have to wait six months for a complaint.

        They also don't have to show up in a jurisdiction that isn't halfway across the world (or the country) because their site was taken down from the simple oversight of a US domain seizure.

         

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    proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:18am

    abridge speech-- because, well, we have to...

    "The fact is that many, many laws abridge our right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment."

    Right. And the complaint is urged that this ought not be allowed to be the case.

    To that, your retort, "But it is the case!"

    Then what, some will ask, do we do about child molesters who organize and perpetrate their crimes via the use of internet sites--i.e. speech used to conspire to commit child molestation, etc. ?

    My answer is, prosectute them for child molestation, or for conspiracy to commit acts of child molestation, etc. not for their statements, utterances , etc. about child molestation.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:48am

      Re: abridge speech-- because, well, we have to...

      Right. And the complaint is urged that this ought not be allowed to be the case.

      To that, your retort, "But it is the case!"


      But that is how these things work. You won't get very far in a court of law saying, "but, it shouldn't work like this." You would need to argue that the process is unconstitutional. Considering that the constitutionality of seizures and forfeitures has been challenged in a myriad of other cases, the arguments are probably going to fail.

       

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    proximity1, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:24am

    common sense vs. what judges do, say, insist...

    "Of course, if you look at this from a common sense standpoint, no one thinks that due process includes the government seizing your property and letting you sue them at some later date (months later) to get it back."

    Common sense. Of course! Oh, wait!

    I have a hunch some do think just that-- "due process includes the government seizing your property and letting you sue them at some later date (months later) to get it back." [if you can]

     

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    hmm (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 5:08am

    well

    For me, it is because a single site with 100,000 pages might be worth more than a company offering up sub-domains. In purely legal terms, there was only 1 domain, 1 site. How they decided to fill their domain is up to them.


    Does this mean if ONE person in the US steals a sandwich from someone in Europe, then technically there is, in purely legal terms, one country, therefore one criminal and the EU should be able to take away/imprison every single person in the US? (oh yes and change the criminal record to read "guilty of child pornography")?


    Because thats exactly what taking down 84000 sites is...basically saying ONE of you did xxxxxxx therefore ALL of you using that country/city/PC server/domain shall be punished

     

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