US Copyright Czar: Expect More Domain Censorship

from the free-speech-ain't-free dept

The US "IP Czar," Victoria Espinel, said at a conference this week that Homeland Security's seizure of a bunch of domain names was apparently just the beginning of a larger plan to go after such folks. Espinel has been making the rounds over the past few months, working to get various companies to voluntarily start censoring websites in this manner, even without the COICA bill being in place. This isn't really a surprise. Espinel has stated in the past that her job is to focus on the enforcement side of copyright law, so it's no surprise she's supportive of such seizures.

What's scary, though, is the fact that she doesn't seem willing to recognize how these seizures appear to go way past "enforcing" copyright law, and move into blatant censorship. In her comments, she noted that "We are going after the piraters and counterfeiters," but she seems to ignore that caught in that net are perfectly legitimate search engines and (more seriously) blogs with plenty of non-infringing content. If that's not the definition of prior restraint and blatant government censorship, I don't know what is.

What's sad is that Espinel has appeared in the past as someone who actually recognized these issues -- and while she's under a lot of pressure from the entertainment industry lobbyists who apparently get to write her performance reports -- if these sorts of activities keep up, she's going to go down as the US's chief censor. What a shame.

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  1. identicon
    Darryl, 6 Dec 2010 @ 10:06pm

    Censorship is not copyright, they both start with C but after that they are different

    Mike, Why do you use the term censorship,

    You either know that is not true, and are willing to lie to enable you to use such an emotive term. Or you are ignorant, and you really do not understand that copyright, and copyright law is not censorship or censorship law.

    So which is it, lie or stupid ? they are your only choices !

    Perhaps you think you can explain to us how censorship is the same as copyright ?

    I really cant believe that you display this lack of knowledge in the BASICS.. I guess you must think your readers are equally stupid ?

    Censorship laws are not applied here, nor is the subject matters censor rating under question.

    So are you saying the copyright czar is censoring a G rated kids movie ? because it closes a web site that is hosting a copy of that movie in breach of copyright law ?

    How does that work Mike ?

    Has that Bamby movie been reclassified as XXX rated and therefore not allowed ?

    No, Mike, that would be stupid would't it ??

    So its not censorship, except inside Mikes mind, who is either stupid, ignorant, or outright lying to make a biased point..

    which is it Mike, Stupid or ignorant ?

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