Indian Court Orders 104 Sites Censored Based On The Say So Of The Indian Music Industry

from the censorship-by-any-other-name dept

Torrentfreak notes the interesting timing on this one. Just as MPAA boss Chris Dodd was in India talking up the importance of stricter copyright laws (like SOPA), an Indian court ordered a SOPA-like block of 104 sites that were declared as "dedicated to infringement" by the Indian Music Industry (IMI). What's interesting is that as you look down the list of blocked sites, they include many that appear to focus on movies, not music -- so it's not clear why IMI gets to decide what's infringing and what's not.

Reading some of the details, it's pretty clear that the sites in question were not given a chance to present their side in court. In fact, it appears that even the IMI bosses admit that they haven't yet proved that all of those sites are infringing:
Taking the sites to court is not humanly feasible: when we went after one site, we got the impression that the owner was in the US, based out of the Bahamas, and it was very difficult to get him to respond. Our person has to pose as an advertiser before the owner came on an email, and we eventually found that it was a young kid in Rajkot, and the entire process took six months. Going after 104 sites – can you imagine the effort, the time and the money spent in chasing this? The better route is to establish comprehensively that each ofthese 104 sites is pirating content, and we’re doing that – as a body and not a company – and it’s easier to interact with the ISP now.
In other words, shoot first, deal with the fallout of incorrect censorship later.

Not surprisingly, the head of the IFPI (the international RIAA) cheered on this result:
“This decision is a victory for the rule of law online and a blow to those illegal businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others,” said IFPI CEO Frances Moore in a statement.

But in a clear signal that for the music and movie industries even the toughest of anti-piracy measures are never enough, Moore says that current developments are a good start.

“The court ruled that blocking is a proportionate and effective way to tackle website piracy,” Moore noted, adding that the Indian government should now “build on this progress” by advancing further legislation to tackle digital piracy.
The situation here seems extreme and disproportionate. Not only have the serious problems with DNS and IP blocking been described concerning internet security, but it's pretty clear that efforts like this don't work. There are already reports of sites from the list reappearing under different domain names, and all the court order is doing is spreading the game of whac-a-mole. Amusingly, the same Indian music exec who made the claim above about how it's impossible to actually track down these sites, later (in the same interview) admits he doesn't want to shut down these sites, because they have a "passion for music" and he'd like to work out deals with them. Of course, getting a court order to block access to their existing sites is a funny way to say "hey, I'd like to work with you."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

    The content industry has show time and time again that all they care about it forcing us to pay as much as they want. They are as close to true communism as any government has ever been. Control what we information get by what method we get that information and then also pay to get that information via a "tax".

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:40am

      Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

      I agree with your entire statement save for the misuse of the word "communism". The word I believe you were looking for there is fiefdom, vassalage, or perhaps 'screwedtopia'

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

        You can't use Screwedtopia, as I've already designated my bedroom as having that name....

         

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:00am

          Re: Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

          Can I tell the *AAs they can move into your bedroom any day now? :-)

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:01am

      Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

      "They are as close to true communism as any government has ever been."

      Actually, it's the ultimate form of capitalism, when business gets government to do it's bidding!

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Howard the Duck, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

        Crony capitalism, yo

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:16am

        Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

        Please don't misuse my name like that! All I want is a free market where value sets the price, not a government-granted monopoly on information.
        --Capitalism

        Please don't misuse my name like that! Opressing the rights of the workers for the sake of the rich in charge of big corporations, and corrupt politicians? That's absurd.
        --Communism

        Controlling the actions of people for the sake of the privileged few in charge? Yeah, sounds about right!
        --Fascism

         

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          Niall (profile), Mar 20th, 2012 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

          I think you will find that your definition of Fascism also fits a lot of Stalinist/Maoist/Jungist 'communist' settings as well - but given that it's corporate domination by the rich, Fascism works best here. Just the fascists don't have a monopoly on 1% domination tactics...

           

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    "businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others"

    You mean like putting out compilation cd's and not paying the artists?
    You mean by demanding the right to see what everyone has to make sure you've gotten your money each time?

    Considering the Indian Government has recently decided to tax Angel Investor capital at 30%, its sorta clear they are divorced from reality.
    http://slashdot.org/story/12/03/18/2043236/indian-government-to-tax-angel-funding

    Why is it India can stand up to make life saving drugs in the face of tons of pressure but are blind that the "entertainment" industry is doing the same thing?

     

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  •  
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    sehlat (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    How to Negotiate a Deal on a Friendly Basis

    (at least, according to Big Content)

    1. Raze the target to the ground.

    2. Sow radioactive salt on the ruins.

    3. Negotiate.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    this is happening in just about every country you can think of, except the likes of China and Iran. why would India be any different? i just hope that the World's governments are happy now that the greatest communication platform on the planet is in the control of, of all things, the fucking entertainment industries! i know it's the most essential of all services that no one and nowhere can do without but..........

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    It's pretty much on par with Indian courts choosing to ignore patents on certain medicines. They are all over the road.

    As a side note, would you be denying that these sites are in fact pirate sites?

     

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    •  
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      Richard (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      I'd be pretty certain that at least some of them are not.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      blakey, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      at a guess they merely linked to pages that link to files, legal and otherwise, like say Bing, and its difficult to say what with them being down and all, so i cant, and neither can you, say for certain.

       

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    •  
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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      One of them is lovepaki.com From the sound of that, its a porn site, possibly dedicated to Middle Eastern pornography. I can't actually know for certain unless I do some work and check the damn site. Ya know, what you should do before declaring that someone is a criminal and must have their website blocked.

      "we eventually found that it was a young kid in Rajkot, and the entire process took six months."
      That one sentence has so much information about how these guys think, that I'm gonna give them an award for Most Efficient Use of Language.

      1) They're spending massive resources to shut down websites run by KIDS.
      2) They are wasting a lot of time running after KIDS.
      3) They consider KIDS to be the enemy, instead of potential customers. So, does this mean, they focus entirely on selling music to a generation that is getting older and older, and won't bother AT ALL selling to kids?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.

    Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away.

    Gotcha.

     

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    •  
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      Watchit (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:57am

      Re:

      1 man is suspected of murder ergo throw him and 5 others in jail.

       

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        Watchit (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        notice my use of "suspected" here

         

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      •  
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        Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re:

        You're on the right path, but you didn't go far enough to really use his analogy against him.

        Start with this: It took six months to convict a murderer, so we locked up all suspects with no further evidence.

        But that's not complete either, since they didn't really lock up the suspected pirates. All they did was shutdown their speech and make life difficult.

        So it's more like: It took six months to convict a murderer, so we confiscated the phone numbers of the remaining suspects with no further action.

        So not only are they pissing on due process, they're also not doing anything to stop further law breaking. If they went with real due process they'd get the evil lawbreakers to stop. Instead they violate due process, make the suspects life difficult, but do nothing to stop the activity they view as bad. They're being both ineffective and pissing people off while doing it. If instead they went with due process, they'd both not make people angry and put a stop to the activities they don't like.

         

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    •  
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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:00am

      Re:

      Wow your a fucking moron.

      Imaginary Property compared to murder - Nice try.

      Its to hard for us to manage our government granted monopolies, make other people pay to do it.

      If an innocent man is put into jail incorrectly for murder, that means the law was wrong and need to be addressed. Maybe the standards used to reach the decision were bad. Like assuming every site on a list is pirating music, without actually having to prove it.

      But I guess thats why the **AA's are so stupid, they think like you do. Black and White and no depth.

       

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      •  
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        Richard (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        But I guess thats why the **AA's are so stupid, they think like you do. Black and White and no depth.

        I think the MPAA would disagree with that last point - they would point out that they've had colour films for quite a while now and have even managed 3D in recent years - that B/W silent film in 2D that won the Oscar was just an aberration!

         

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      •  
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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re:

        We all know the IP to murder comparison doesn't wash.

        The fines & jail-time for imaginary property theft are WAY higher than those involved in murder.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          RD, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The fines & jail-time for imaginary property theft are WAY higher than those involved in murder."

          its needs to be said often and LOUDLY:

          The man who copied Michael Jackson's songs got more fines and jail time than the man who ACTUALLY KILLED Michael Jackson.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2012 @ 9:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It really needs to be said - the public should have a mass abuse of copyright day - blatantly and publically break so many copyright rules that the MAFIAA can't do anything about it.

             

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sad and Scary buttons needed.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re:

        "Imaginary Property compared to murder - Nice try."

        All property is imaginary. You can only own it because of legal constructs. Otherwise, anyone could take your "property" without risk.

        The only thing that is artificial here is your understanding of property.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'll have to remember the next time I'm hiking and come across an animal marking their territory by scent that all property is really imaginary so they're wasting their time.

          Property is a concept that exists in nature well outside of human legal constructs. The only difference really is that societies have evolved to the point where the government defends property in addition to the property owner defending property.

          Conversely there is no natural conception of copyrights or any other so-called intellectual property right.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you are saying the **AAs are just pissing on everything and claiming it theirs?

             

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            •  
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              That One Guy (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sorta, though they seem to have confused 'pissing on things' with 'pissing off people', and consider the second to count as the first as far as 'marking territory'.

               

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh you certainly told him. Because as we all know, committing murder and copying digital music files are exactly alike and comparable. /s

          The only thing here which could be seen as artificial is your apparently LACK of understanding and/or intelligence in general.

          Conflating murder and copyright infringement. I guess the "child pornography" approach wasn't sufficient so you're changing things a bit to see just what people are willing to allow you to get away with.

           

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        •  
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          Richard (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          All property is imaginary. You can only own it because of legal constructs.

          Not true. Physical possession is the basis of property rights in physical objects. The law came later - and defers to physical possession in more cases - ever heard the expression "Possession is nine points of the law"?

           

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    •  
      icon
      silverscarcat (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      How many times must I sing that song?

      Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! You're wrong! You're wrong! You're wrooooooooooong!

      "An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.

      Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away."

      You *DO* realize, and, this might be a stretch, considering that it's you, but the policy of "Innocent until proven guilty" has a secondary point to it? That it's better to let 50 guilty men go free than put even ONE innocent man (or woman or child) behind bars, right?

       

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        Watchit (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:16am

        Re: Re:

        "That it's better to let 50 guilty men go free than put even ONE innocent man (or woman or child) behind bars, right?"

        hmmm debatable, but I agree the AC's analogy doesn't hold. considering what really matters here is that the sites were censored without due process, irregardless of their innocence/non-innocence.

         

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      •  
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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re:

        than put even ONE innocent man (or woman or child) behind bars, right?

        Or dead printer's grandma

         

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      •  
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        Niall (profile), Mar 20th, 2012 @ 9:27am

        Re: Re:

        Unless you worship the Elephant god...

         

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    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.

      Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away.


      No - Ergo the processes which caused this to happen should be reviewed and the law adjusted to ensure that the chances of it happening again are reduced.

      And since the case we are actually discussing here concerns not the law of murder but rather a law of questionable morality and even more questionable efficacy then abolishing it might well be a reasonable response.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.
      Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away.
      Gotcha.

      104 innocent men were charged with murder and incorrectly put in jail.
      Gotcha, boy.

       

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    •  
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      Keii (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      As opposed to jail everyone as murderers because they look like they could murder someone and then deny them due process?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Howard the Duck, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      An innocent man is thrown in jail on suspicion of murder, the victim is still alive and well. Copies anyone?

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      Gotcha.

      Or not.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:39pm

      Re:

      A guilty murderer was not put in jail.

      Ergo, everyone should be charged with murder and put into jail, just in case.

      Gotcha.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    dr evil, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    what if

    what if the sites were ALSO shilling inexpensive lifesaving drugs? would shutting them down be a conflict of interest?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    "In other words, shoot first, deal with the fallout of incorrect censorship later."

    What fallout? I can't hear you censored sites complaining about being censored, which means there is no fallout!

    And who cares if the reason I can't hear them complaining is because I censored them so I can no longer visit their websites/blogs?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    As much as as desoise Bollywood NOW I am torrenting the shit out out of it just because of spite

     

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    icon
    DannyB (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    “This decision is a victory for the rule of law . . .

    So the rule of law is to deny due process.

    Ignore collateral damage.

    Not have to prove anything.

    Business as usual.

    Oh, but for some reason, they need SOPA in order to do, um, what they are already doing.

     

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    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    It's curious that Bollywood wasn't part of this just the Indian music/recording industry.

    I do wonder when people (the industries) and the courts/legislators will ever learn that people in India who do download/share/pirate/steal music will just route around this.

    It's nuts.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    “The court ruled that blocking is a proportionate and effective way to tackle website piracy,”

    I suppose, then, that Phil Spector is proof that all music industry executives are murderers.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:20am

      Re: “The court ruled that blocking is a proportionate and effective way to tackle website piracy,”

      Approximately the same sample size, you see.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Adrian Lopez, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    "Taking the sites to court is not humanly feasible."

    Why let such a nuisance as the due process of law get in the way of shutting down websites... or businesses... or of putting people in prison? Such rules are only there to protect the guilty anyway, so why not do away with them altogether?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    SSDC

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    “This decision is a victory for the rule of law online and a blow to those illegal businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others,”

    Propaganda alert,

    Mind the propaganda,

    nothing to see here folks

    Except for propaganda

    I'm a terrorist

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Wait...
    India has a music industry?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Skyblaze, Mar 20th, 2012 @ 2:28am

    Waahhh

    Is it me, or did IMI's response to this sound a lot like this:

    'But actually doing investigation and fact-checking is *hard*. Can't we just have them all shot? Would be much easier... No? Oh, well, take down their sites then.
    We'll sit here on our mountain of gold and laugh at the little people as they scurry around trying to save their thieving websites.'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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