Earlier, I made a thread on Monster Cable pushing for PROTECT IP for its ability to censor "rogue sites." It's a vague term, but Monster Cable claims websites such as Ebay, Craigslist, and services like PriceGrabber are all rogue sites, merely because they allow people to purchased used items. This is an even more extreme version of Vernor v. Autodesk, which Apple used in their lawsuit to claim people do not own what they purchase, as they are merely renting the software. This would take it a step further, implying a company could actually revoke the ability to resell their product. .... Well, actually... Monsanto kind of already does that.
.... Anyway - there are more threats to the Internet than that. The DoJ is now threatening sports sites because COMMENTERS posted links to streaming websites. Formerly, this was protected, and this, along with another major threat where content creators may be able to sue forums for what commenters post (as Righthaven tried, and largely failed to do), poses a serious threat to forums such as this. Of course, due to the severity of the potential punishment, and the "official" people behind the threats, it's hard for websites like "Defending Big D" to resist operating as usual. Instead, they've written a nervous-sounding post telling posters they aren't allowed to post LINKS (which was formerly common sense as not an infringement by itself) to copyrighted content.
"An anonymous Dallas Stars hockey fan alerts us to the quite worrisome news that the Justice Department seems to think it's a valuable use of their time to threaten blogs and community sites that they could be held liable if anyone in their comments posts a link to infringing material. You can see it in a "Welcome" post on the Defending Big D blog:
Streaming Links: Now, this raises all sorts of questions. Why is the Justice Department threatening blogs like this? Was it really the Justice Department, or was it ICE (a part of Homeland Security)? What other sites have been contacted beyond SB Nation? What is the Justice Department saying to these sites and is it an accurate reflection of the law? And why don't SB Nation and other sites point out to the Justice Department that, under the DMCA safe harbors, there is a clear process for the removal of links to infringing content -- and it also provides safe harbors for the sites themselves?
This is something I'll address in a separate post, but we can no longer allow links to be posted to online streams of the Dallas Stars games. While we have yet to be contacted, other SB Nation sites have been contacted by the Department of Justice. Because our site is 'allowing' these links to be posted, we can be held liable.
My guess is that the Justice Department and ICE, via Operation In Our Sites, are trying to implycriminal copyright infringement here (otherwise, why else would the DOJ be involved?). But that's a much higher bar, and it's unlikely that a comment could be criminal copyright infringement. The link itself would have to be for profit, for starters. And while SB Nation or the site might make money, that's entirely separate from the action of the user. Either way, this is quite worrisome and seems like a massive step out of bounds by the Justice Department.
Full article with comments @ http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...-content.shtml