informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Mar 06 2011, 3:01 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

ICE Arrests Operator Of Seized Domain; Charges Him With Criminal Copyright Infringement

by Mike Masnick, Techdirt

While Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group has been seizing lots of domains under questionable legal theories, it has been slow to follow through on any sort of actual lawsuits. However, with one of the domains seized a month ago, channelsurfing.net, ICE has now arrested someone and charged him with criminal copyright infringement, such that he's now facing five years in jail (as well as fines). This is interesting, because when that domain was seized, we had noted that channelsurfing did not appear to host any content itself, but merely embedded content from other sites. That raises an awful lot of serious questions: specifically, what part of copyright law is infringed here. The site does not host any of the content. It does not make any copies. It does not distribute the content. All it does is put in a snippet of code that a user's web browser then uses to request content from another site.

About the only thing that could be claimed is some sort of "inducement" claim -- but as we discussed recently, there's simply no such thing as criminal contributory infringement, so if that's the claim, then it would appear that ICE (yet again) is simply making up what it wants the law to be, rather than what the law actually says. Now, there may be more to this than has been made clear to date. Perhaps there's evidence that the site actually did host content, but that was not clear from what I saw earlier. Some have said that there's an "aiding and abetting" charge to be made under criminal law, but as we pointed out in the link above, the standard for aiding and abetting are much, much higher, and there's little evidence that ICE has enough to meet the aiding and abetting standard.

On top of this, there are serious questions about why this should be a criminal claim, rather than a civil claim. ICE appears to be using the fact that the guy, Bryan McCarthy, made some money, from ads on the website, as the basis for the criminal charges. But that seems like a stretch (at best). While we still question why there should even be such a thing as criminal copyright infringement, even if we accept the idea that it does exist, isn't it supposed to be focused on those doing significant behavior where the connection between the infringement and the money making is clear and direct? Putting some ads on a website that earn a small amount of money (as is the case here) shouldn't be enough to trigger criminal infringement claims. Anyone can put ads on a website. That, alone, shouldn't shift liability from civil to criminal.

No matter what, this will represent a lawsuit worth watching. I'm always nervous that tough cases make bad law, and I could definitely see how certain aspects of this case could obscure the key issues. It will come as a surprise to no one that I'm greatly troubled by a criminal charge here, but it should worry almost anyone who has a website and has ever embedded videos. I have, for example, frequently embedded YouTube videos on this site -- and some of those videos might have been infringing. On top of that, I make some money from advertising on this site. Does that mean I now face criminal liability? I certainly hope not, but that seems to be the incredibly chilling message that ICE is sending. It immediately makes me question if I can ever embed another video without first getting explicit permission from the copyright holder.





Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Austrian Economics Is Now Equivalent To Terrorism Thanks To Latest Islamic State "Gold Standard" Propaganda Clip
- FDA Says Tobacco Manufacturers Can No Longer Call Additive-Free & Natural Cigarettes Additive-Free & Natural
- Appeals Court Strikes Down Ruling Finding NSA Phone Records Collection Unconstitutional
- City of San Jose Looking To Attach Automatic License Plate Readers To Garbage Trucks
- Nebraska Teachers Sign Pledge Promising To Propagandize Students
- Wisconsin High School To Randomly Drug Test Students
- Chicago, Los Angeles Police Departments Have Been Using 'Stingrays On Steroids' For Over A Decade
- Study Shows More Americans Than Ever Support Banning Books









No Comments Posted Add Comment


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

SWAT Team Raids Home, Kills Man Over $2 Worth of Pot -- Informant Exposes Police Cover-Up - 08/31Oakland Cop Spits On Man Filming Him, Claims It Is Not Assault (It Is) - 08/31Disturbing Video Shows Cop Whipping, Kicking His Own K-9 During a Raid - 08/31Austrian Economics Is Now Equivalent To Terrorism Thanks To Latest Islamic State "Gold Standard" Propaganda Clip - 08/31Guns, Drugs, and Booze: Why Both Political Parties Love Prohibition - 08/31Innocent Man Jailed for Months After Incompetent Police Mistook Salt for Crystal Meth - 08/31Vicente Maduro: A New Hero for American Conservatives - 08/31FDA Says Tobacco Manufacturers Can No Longer Call Additive-Free & Natural Cigarettes Additive-Free & Natural - 08/29

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up
(more)

 
Top