Norway Effectively Bans Newsgroups

from the oops dept

It’s amazing how tricky it is for courts around the world to understand the difference between someone who provides internet connectivity and someone who provides content through that system. The latest silly ruling is a Norwegian court fining an ISP for distributing child porn because such images were found on a newsgroup accessible from their service. The ISP’s main competitor quickly shutdown newsgroup access themselves, to avoid being charged with the same crime.

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Comments on “Norway Effectively Bans Newsgroups”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Correct me if I’m wrong but can’t child pornography be distributed via http, ftp, VCD and VHS. Perhaps Norway should ban electricity. This would prevent all forms of digital child porn. Once this is accomplished then can go after the printing press, printers and mail. This will then take care of distributed child porn. There’s still one avenue left though… children. Norway must do away with children as well as sterilize their citizens.

Rohnin says:

Re: No Subject Given

How about this analogy in lieu of your “black helicopter” approach.

You own a grocery that carries 38,000 products. You don’t check every item before it hits your shelves. Due to an oversight on your part, the pharmacy section products are ALL placed on end caps. No prescription needed. It was an oversight, you broke the law, it was under your control. Actually, you only carry a half dozen prescription drugs.

You suggest that the store be closed, that the builder of the store be put out of business, etc. Why not just take responsibility for the product that you sell and restrict access when required to do so. If you absolutely cannot watch how the shelves are stocked, don’t carry the drugs that require prescriptions. That still leaves 37,994 products to profit from.

It IS possible (even easy) to limit content on ISP newsgroup offerings. If you are going to profit from what you sell, take responsibility for the product!

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

That analogy doesn’t work. Because, in the grocery store example, you as the store are in charge of choosing, stocking, and offering the product. You have total control. Absolute worst case is that you have a very small (and well known) number of stockers, and it’s easy to figure out who stocked the shelves.

If you offer newsgroups, that’s not true at all. Then it’s open for the public to “stock the shelves”.

The only way that analogy works is if your grocery store works by letting whoever wants to stock the shelves with whatever they want, has access to millions of people every day, and offers everything they sell for free – with no checkout procedures.

How is it easy to limit content on ISP newsgroup offerings?

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