Court Overreacts And Orders Full Takedown Of Anti-H-1B Websites Over Contradictory Libel/Copyright Claims
from the going-too-far dept
All that said, I'm somewhat horrified at the reports (which a whole bunch of you are sending in) about a judge ordering three anti-H-1B websites be taken totally offline. I disagree heavily with those three sites, and think that they are misleading in the extreme, but the order to take them offline goes way overboard. The judge even went further and ordered Facebook to disable the Facebook page of one of the sites.
At issue are libel and copyright charges from a company named Apex, which these sites accuse of abusing the H-1B process. Given that I'm very much against the abuses, I'm all for exposing those who abuse the process. Now here's where things get weird. The main issue is that these sites posted a copy of what's supposedly an employment agreement from Apex, and the discussion "alleges that employees will find it difficult to leave Apex because of its contract terms." Apex claims that this is defamatory, and notes that it had three "consultants" refuse to report for employment because of it. Yet... it also claims that it holds the copyright on the documents. In other words, it admits that the documents are real and legitimate. Otherwise it wouldn't hold the copyright. Thus, it's hard to see how the two charges can stand together. Either the documents are false and defamatory, or there's (potential) copyright infringement and the documents are accurate in portraying Apex's contract terms. So which is it?
Unfortunately we don't know, because the judge has shut down everything.
What's not at all clear is why the judge would completely shut down all three websites and the Facebook page. If there are problems with just this document, order an injunction against that document. Completely shutting down all three websites goes way too far, and seems to go well beyond what either defamation law or copyright law should allow.